What are your IT Priorities?

Summary:IT Priorities Research Report: The latest survey of ZDNet UK readers shows networking, security and mobility as increasingly important now and in the future

What are your IT Priorities?
Andrew Donoghue
IT Priorities Research Report: The latest survey of ZDNet UK readers shows networking, security and mobility as increasingly important now and in the future

Deciding which technologies, services and partners deserve a slice of your increasingly scrutinised -- and in some cases shrinking -- budget is probably the single biggest challenge faced by IT professionals.

IT purchasing and deployment should be approached strategically, with a clear idea of how any new technologies fit with existing systems as well as with future plans for expansion. That's the theory anyway. The reality is that 'reactive' and 'sporadic' are more accurate descriptors of how a lot of companies go about IT purchasing. IT professionals are usually being pulled in several directions at once: by vendors pursuing their own agenda to sell more product; by fears of keeping pace with the competition; and by individual departments claiming to know what technology is best for them.

Navigating through the technological landscape is no easy task, and to help ease the journey, ZDNet UK has developed the IT Priorities programme. This provides a handy reference guide to the technologies that IT professionals report as being most important to their businesses, now and over the next 12 months.

Every quarter, the results of an in-depth survey of a cross-section of over 500 IT professionals are used to cut through the vendor hype and spin, to reveal the technologies and strategies that are actually making a difference to UK companies.

The latest round of research for Q2 2005 shows that networking, security, mobility, Web/internet applications and IT management issues are the broad areas that UK businesses currently see as their top five IT Priorities. If we look ahead to the next twelve months, the picture changes slightly: in this time frame, mobility, Web/Internet applications, networking, security and communications come out on top.

  Now (Q2 2005) % Response 12-month horizon
(Q2 2006)
% Response
Networking 40 Mobility 33
Security 34 Web/Internet applications 26
Mobility 32 Networking 25
Web/Internet applications 28 Security 24
IT management 22 Communications 22

The unique way the research was developed means that broad areas such as network management can be further broken down to reveal the specific technologies (for instance) that readers see as important. At this more granular level, the top five technologies over the next twelve months were: internal Wi-Fi, remote access, antivirus, Internet telephony and network security.

Motivation?

Information technology does not exist in isolation (at least, not for long), but is a solution to a business problem. To make the IT Priorities programme as useful a resource as possible, we also asked IT professionals about their motivations for deploying particular technologies.

The main motivator for technology managers when it comes to deploying new equipment or upgrading existing systems, the research shows, is to increase productivity; next comes ease of management followed by increasing competitive edge. The fact that saving money, and increasing ROI (Return On Investment) ranks fairly low suggests that, for a lot of companies, IT is seen as a way to boost output rather than reduce overheads. Companies are prepared to invest in technology if it improves their business, and are not necessarily looking for short-term gains or savings.

  Now Next 12 Months
Increase productivity Increase productivity
Ease management Manage risk
Manage risk Ease management
Save money Save money
Increase competitive edge Increase competitive edge
Increase ROI Increase ROI
Aid compliance Aid compliance

IT Priorities and Toolkits

The information gleaned from the IT Priorities research is used to inform and direct aggregations of content from across our network. These are known as Toolkits. You can find the full list of IT Priorities Toolkits here.

By mapping the information from the latest round of research to the existing Toolkits on the site, we can decide which of the 24 current Toolkits should be promoted to become the five IT Priorities for the next quarter:

  1. Networking
  2. Mobility
  3. Security
  4. Web/Internet
  5. IT Management

Focusing on each of these areas in turn reveals what IT professionals see as the most important specific technologies in each area.

 
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Topics: Tech Industry

About

"If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people - including me - would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism." Hunter S. Thompson Andrew Donoghue is a freelance technology and business journ... Full Bio

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