Enterprise CIOs Ready To Buy Software

By Geoffrey James

A recent survey of 870 North American IT decision-makers conducted by Forrester Research indicates CIOs are increasingly optimistic about their business climates. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm forecasts that this optimism will translate into a 2.4% spending increase in 2004, up from its 1.7% projection in late 2003 for the same period.

The survey revealed that year-over-year spending increases should be approximately 4% for companies providing business services, such as consulting, transportation, construction, finance and insurance. Much of this money will be spent on basic hardware and software, including upgrades in core technologies such as personal computers, security controls and mobile networking. Here are some other highlights from the study.

  • Spending on customer information systems should continue to climb, with portals seeing the greatest growth in deployments (61%), followed by content management (56%) and business intelligence (48%).
  • Enterprises should continue building a foundation for increased mobility. More than 80% of responding firms have virtual private network (VPN) deployments in production and 54% have completed deployments of personal firewalls. More than half the respondents plan to increase deployments of these technologies, with 60% planning to increase their implementations of wireless LANs during the next 12 months.
  • Regulatory concerns, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, are propping up spending on enterprise applications. The support compliance, 30% of responding firms said they plan to increase spending on ERP. Adoption of other enterprise applications, such as procurement, supply chain management and CRM software, has leveled off.
  • More than half of the responding enterprise firms plan to extend their deployments of integration server software, up from 41% in 2003. There is a split between development environments, with 56% preferring Microsoft’s .NET and 44% preferring the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition.
  • Manufacturing, retail, and wholesale companies plan to increase their deployments of RFID during the next 12 months. These firms are also 1.5 times more likely to increase their deployments of business intelligence solutions.