Most respondents to the ZDNet IT Priorities reader survey see the need for a business case for major IT projects. Rewards will be there for vendors who can help with the figures.
When asked how the current economic conditions have impacted their approach to IT, more than half of big businesses (500+ seats) said there was now more of a need for a thorough business case. This suggests business cases with more pages, more graphs and more evidence to support assumptions.
Then that neatly bound business case is more likely to be passed higher up the pecking order for sign-off. More than half of bigger businesses say this is a consequence of today's economy, coupled with budget cuts and more regular budget revisions.
(Credit: Phil Dobbie/ZDNet Australia))
This is a clear opportunity for vendors — the more you can help the IT team build that case, the better the chance of a sale. Most large vendors use this consulting approach as part of their sales technique, but now might be the time for smaller vendors to do the same.
Let's not overplay the impact of the economy, though. Not yet, anyway. Only 38 per cent of respondents in the 2011 survey said decreasing IT budgets was a significant issue. Many more (46 per cent) say optimising costs is a bigger concern, but that could be more to do with the availability of new, more efficient technologies than any concerns over the economy. We all want to do more with what we have, whatever the environment.
The top concern for respondents is protecting and securing networks (48 per cent). Improving service responsiveness is another significant issue, highlighted by 42 per cent of respondents. It sounds like, if your product can address these concerns, and you have a few useful facts and figures to support the case, clients will find the money from somewhere. It just might take a little longer while you wait for the boss' sign-off.