More than half of Australian mid-market businesses are completely unaware of ITIL, a key element in providing more efficient service management, a survey has found.
According to the results released today, 60 percent of mid-market IT managers have never heard of ITIL (the Information Technology Infrastructure Library).
IDC compiled the report for Brennan, a supplier of IT and telecommunications services, by drawing answers from mid-market companies -- up to 600 respondents -- from seven existing surveys and reports.
In development since the 1980s and the subject of a recent major revision, ITIL provides a vendor-neutral means of ensuring consistent service management and delivery.
Although it has increasingly become a de facto standard for larger enterprises, just 18 percent of mid-market CIOs and other IT executives currently utilised ITIL.
Mid-market companies (those with between 49 and 500 employees) represent a large potential audience, with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures suggesting there are around 26,000 such companies.
Enterprise vendors in Australia are increasingly looking to expand their presence amongst those companies, in part because the size of the top tier market is relatively small and IT purchasing decisions are often driven by global mandates rather than locally.
Spending in this segment is consistent if not spectacular. The typical mid-market firm spends AU$196,000 on IT and an additional AU$102,000 on telecommunications services. The two numbers combined typically represent 2.5 percent of total revenue, the survey found.
After a fallow period in the early part of the decade, IT directors in those companies are slowly starting to regain respect. The study found that 55 percent of CIOs now report directly to the CEO, compared with 34 percent in 2003.
However, the number of businesses who see IT as a direct source of competitive advantage has remained flat, with the 2006 figure of 25 percent effectively unchanged from a decade earlier.
Top IT priorities in this segment include improving customer service (cited by 26 percent of respondents) and improving infrastructure (23 percent of respondents). In yet another sign that Microsoft faces an uphill battle in getting Vista accepted in the business community, shifting to a new platform was the most commonly cited business challenge.
One likely are for future growth is in outsourcing. Only 35 percent of companies in this segment have outsourced any IT work, with systems integration and network management the most common targets. In similar figures, 61 percent of mid-market companies still purchase technology outright, while 39 percent lease.