In a survey published today by market analysts, Spikes Cavell, the UK and Germany emerged as the biggest spenders. The survey looked at 100 companies which had spent the most on IT in 1996. It revealed that 26 were German and 25 British, forking out £8.8 billion and £8.5 billion respectively.
UK big spenders included Barclays, HSBC Holdings and BT.
"Two key trends we have seen supported are the growth of a public Internet system and a change in working practices to location independent methods," said John Newman, director of research at Spikes Cavell. He added: "Speed and flexibility in responding to customer needs is essential in staying competitive."
Newman maintained UK firms had spent their budgets well on their customer bases: "Customer support systems are a very wise place to spend your money."