Cost reduction remains the top priority for Europe's IT directors in 2003, even though they are feeling generally optimistic about the future.
According to the latest RoperNOP Technology Confidence Barometer, conducted in association with silicon.com in Europe, around 60 percent of IT chiefs are confident of increased IT investment in three years' time, with spending set to rise 6.8 percent in the coming year.
However, reducing costs is still the first thing on the agenda in a large proportion of companies as the days of ever-growing IT budgets have long since gone.
The RoperNOP report states: "For many, faced with the reality of spiralling IT costs, the strategy will be to control costs so that budgetary increases are kept as low as possible."
This means that upgrading and improving existing systems is also a key priority for tech chiefs. The report found that companies are prepared to spend money on current systems but are loath to recommend any large-scale new capital expenditure.
The survey asked Europe's technology decision makers for their top three priorities for 2003. The list in full is as follows:
Reduced costs (named by 43 percent of respondents)
Improvement/upgrade of current systems (43 percent)
Collaborative applications (26 percent)
High-speed data transmission
Business continuity planning (24 percent)
Web services (21 percent)
E-commerce (15 percent)
Remote access (13 percent)
ERP (12 percent)
Mobile/handheld devices (12 percent) This is the second RoperNOP Technology Confidence Barometer. The fieldwork was conducted in November and December 2002 in partnership with silicon.com in Europe and Cahners and CMP in the US. Over 1,100 interviews were conducted, making this one of the most comprehensive surveys of its kind.