Ireland's CIOs not optimistic

Life's not looking that good for tech in Ireland, with tech spending unlikely to rise commensurately with business overall

An upturn in Irish business won't necessarily translate into increased IT spending, as the country's CIOs remain under pressure to slim down their tech budgets.

According to a new report from analyst firm IDC, 45 percent of Irish public and private sector organisations said they expected their IT budget this year to be up on last year, while 29 percent believe their 2005 spending will be less than 2004's.

Big organisations were more chipper about IT prospects, however, with 34 percent of large organisations expecting to see budgets rise rather than shrink.

IDC's report also found that Irish businesses are experiencing rising costs, with many looking toward the IT department to slash spending. The budgetary pressure is also causing the image of the IT department to be overhauled: it's now seen more as a spending black hole that needs to be brought under control, rather than a way of boosting competitiveness.

Given such as perception of IT, it's no surprise that most budget increases are spent on what are perceived to be essentials — updating hardware and software, rather than on services. IDC found 37 percent of organisations expected a year-on-year increase on their hardware spending, while 28 percent expected higher spending on services.

The report also found that Irish CIOs will be playing it safe with services — this year has seen a large drop in the number of firms expecting to spend their money on new services.