Security software tops must-buy list

IT departments will divert spending from non-essential services such as consulting in order to make existing systems secure and efficient

Security software, web-based applications and virtual private networks (VPNs) top the list of must-have purchases for US and European IT departments says the latest NOP/ Technology Confidence Barometer. Outsourcing and consulting services are the least in demand.

According to the senior IT professionals and business decision makers polled, security software will experience a 7.9 per cent growth rate this year, while spend on web-based applications and VPNs will rise by 5.8 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively. Outsourcing spend will grow by just 0.6 per cent while consulting will fare even worse with a 0.3 per cent rise.

Micheal Freedman, director of NOP Research Group, said that when it comes to reducing expenditure, outsourcing and consulting are soft targets. "They are the easiest ones to cut costs on. It's very hard to cut costs on other aspects of IT that keep the network up and running."

However, Dale Vile, research director at research house Quocirca, said that big business will soon flock back to professional services companies when the economy improves.

IT departments are being cut to the bone, Vile said, which means organisations will lack the in-house expertise to tackle new projects. "And as everyone should know successful projects are more about the way IT is implemented than the underlying technology."

The Technology Confidence Barometer is based on interviews with 1,300 senior IT professionals and business decision makers in the UK, Germany and the US. Fieldwork was conducted in June and July 2002.

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