Downturn chops, delays HK IT projects

One in five businesses have canceled IT projects that were underway, while over 80 percent are cutting or freezing IT investments, new survey finds.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

IT investments in Hong Kong have been hard hit by the economic downturn, according to a new survey.

Over 80 percent of companies in the Special Administrative Region are either cutting or putting on hold their investments in IT-related projects, ISACA said Wednesday in a statement. The organization is a global body involved in IT governance and certification.

In addition, around one in five, or 21 percent, of respondents have recently canceled IT projects before their full implementation, ISACA said. More than 15 percent of these projects were canceled because they were deemed not to be in line with the business strategies of the respective companies.

One in five respondents indicated that they were able to fully realize their projects' expected value, but the majority--over 41 percent--expected to realize between 50 percent and 74 percent of the projected value.

Frank Yam, international vice president of ISACA, pointed out that the study reflected the gap between what companies intended to achieve with their IT investments, and what they were eventually able to accomplish.

"What we are looking at here is a picture in which the investments do not justify the ends," he said in the statement. "Businesses in Hong Kong need to look at their IT investments more strategically to bring out their full value, and this can only be achieved through better alignment between IT objectives and business goals. This holds true whenever IT investment is involved, and even more so when companies are under budgetary pressure where every dollar counts for every bit of value."

ISACA said businesses need to pay more attention to ensuring consistent expectations and goals across business departments. This in turn requires greater involvement and accountability from senior executives, to provide guidance on the selection and monitoring of IT investments. Frameworks such as Val IT and Cobit (Control Objectives for Information and related Technology), the organization added, provide tools that help businesses with investment decisions and execution.

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