UK companies are still continuing to invest heavily in IT, with mobile and web-based applications seeing most of the money, according to business intelligence company Cognos. But IT managers report conflicting opinions.
The findings, carried out for Cognos by research group ICM, questioned 100 UK financial directors of varying business areas and sizes on their IT budgets, and found that 69 per cent were continuing to invest heavily in technology.
"In the eyes of the board, IT is continuing to develop as an essential part of any business strategy," said Graham Walter, UK managing director for Cognos. "In a competitive climate, access to immediate information is vital."
Walter stressed that investment for the sake of it was not the key, but that making use of the information it provided was paramount. "Never has it been more important for IT and financial directors to make shrewd technological investments based on the speed of return on investment," he said.
According to ICM, 46 per cent of companies interviewed said that they would be looking to invest in mobile and web-based applications.
But IT managers provided contrasting experiences. "I don't think that commerce and industry any longer have a choice," said the IT group director of a northern chamber of commerce. "Investing in IT today is like investing in steam engines during the industry revolution: businesses have to invest in IT."
Another IT manager, who wished to remain anonymous, blamed Microsoft licence hikes and a "sensible attitude" for not investing further. "Sitting on a cash mountain, we don't have to cut back, but we don't have to waste money either," he said.
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