Only one in four Hewlett-Packard and Compaq users are in favour of the merger of the two companies, with integration nightmares and reduced competition at the top of their concerns, according to a survey by Merrill Lynch.
Although advocates of the merger describe it as a good marriage of product lines, chief information officers (CIO) responding to the survey conducted by the investment bank questioned HP's commitment to Compaq products and expressed concerns of "paralysed service" while the merger goes through.
Only a quarter of HP and Compaq clients questioned said they were in favour of the proposed merger.
HP and Compaq are expected to suffer as customers cut spending this year, with Compaq customers anticipating a 10 per cent fall in financial outlay, compared with a four per cent drop in spend for HP customers.
And although IBM is gaining share as the uncertainty surrounding the HP/Compaq deal rages on, CIOs are nervous about being tied into a relationship with the giant. They cite its large and bureacratic size, high prices and lack of hardware independence as IBM's biggest weaknesses.
Almost 40 per cent of the CIOs questioned said IBM was gaining a share of their IT budget, and over half of respondents agreed with the suggestion of a shift in the market away from best of breed vendors and towards "solutions providers.".
The survey also gave a resounding thumbs up to Linux as a viable alternative to the mainframe environment. A quarter of respondents now consider Linux as "strategic".
Storage management is the CIO's biggest headache, prompting an anticipated nine per cent increase in storage spend over the next 12 months. Users are shifting gradually towards network attached storage, with a preference for buying storage from their server vendor.
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