IT managers believe that they will be under pressure to deliver more for less next year, according to research released this week.
A survey carried out ahead of CIO Connect's annual Team Connect conference in London suggests that IT managers will have to "batten down the hatches" in the next 12 to 18 months.
This is because board-level executives are increasingly demanding that IT departments focus on driving more value from existing infrastructure.
Survey respondents were asked what would have the most impact on the role and structure of information services departments until the end of 2009.
The predictions included 'executive demands for increased value' (80 per cent of respondents), 'increased focus on business processes and process efficiency' (73 per cent) and 'executive demands for cost containment' (71 per cent).
But 59 per cent of respondents expected budgets to shrink during this period, 60 per cent of whom forecast cuts of between five and 10 per cent.
Some respondents were more optimistic, however. Around 41 per cent predicted budget rises during the period, but these were likely to be between one and five per cent.
Just 40 per cent of respondents reported that their chief information officer had a place on the board, suggesting that IT managers still seem hesitant about the impact their department is having on the business.
Two-thirds of IT managers believe that the information services/IT department is seen by the board as a useful business function, but just 20 per cent believe it is seen as a strategic contributor.
"The difficult economic backdrop looks to be casting a cloud over the forecasts of IT managers for the 18 months ahead," said CIO Connect chief executive Nick Kirkland.
"In these circumstances, it is important for information services departments to be driving value from their existing applications infrastructure.
"But the pressure of tougher economic times can also provide the perfect environment for IT departments to create imaginative and innovative solutions to assist their businesses to gain a competitive edge."
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