IDC: ‘Good Enough Computing’ Persists

A new survey by IDC released Tuesday paints a grim picture for IT managers
looking for money to meet their corporate objectives.

“For the CIO, the difficulty of winning funds for projects which are not
considered mission-critical will remain challenging,” said Stephen Minton,
IDC director of worldwide IT markets. “More than one third of respondents
said that two things are keeping them awake at nights – the thought of
losing their jobs, and the thought of more budget cuts.”

Forget about asking your boss for non-mission-critical needs, the report
shows, chief information officers will be lucky to get funds to meet
critical or strategic goals. Of the 500 professionals surveyed in July,
one-third don’t expect money anytime in the next 12 months.

The most ominous factor for the dearth of IT funding isn’t about the
economy — which has become something of a catchphrase for tight budgets in
the past — but the majority of respondents who said executives had a
short-term outlook when it came to meeting IT objectives and the “persistent
mood of ‘good enough’ computing,” according to the survey.

That’s bad news for CIOs and IT managers, who will somehow have to find a
way to roll out new services for little to money. But the survey also found
that most IT managers aren’t going to complain too much to their bosses.

“More than one third of respondents said that two things are keeping them
awake at nights – the thought of losing their jobs, and the thought of more
budget cuts,” Minton said.

Other survey results show the only thing more likely than an improving
economy to bring more funding is infrastructure failure. Infrastructure led
the pack as the biggest concern for CIOs and IT managers going into 2004,
followed closely by cost-cutting, integration and security.

“It’s all about the infrastructure,” Minton said “The mood of cost-control
and caution persists, but alongside a realization of the urgent need for
infrastructure upgrades.”

IDC’s survey is in-line with other surveys of its type. Last week, CIO
Magazine published its monthly survey of company executives and found only slight gains
in IT spending expected in the next 12 months, a figure that changes monthly
from one extreme to the other. Many seem to be in a “wait and
see”
holding pattern until conditions better themselves or they are
forced to improve the infrastructure.

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