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Tuesday, 24 January 2006 08:01

Australia to get technology house in order in 2006


Australian organisations intend to spend 2006 tightening up their technology systems and IT infrastructure, according to a new survey of 128 Australian and New Zealand firms.

The Business Technographics December 2005 Asia Pacific IT Budgets And Spending Survey, from research group Forrester, asked technology decision makers for their upcoming IT priorities across technology, services, and business themes.

For Australia and New Zealand, the results showed that organisations remain focused on getting the technology house in order. Continued emphasis on improved security, infrastructure consolidation, and application renewal all topped the list for 2006. This theme also featured strongly in the business domain, with 31% of firms nominating improving the overall efficiency of IT as critical in the new year.

The survey probed 98 Australian and 30 New Zealand firms for their 2006 outlook on a range of budget issues and priorities. Looking across three key areas '” technology, services, and business '” revealed that the region will continue to focus on the internal consolidation and renewal of IT infrastructure. However, according to the Forrester survey there is change afoot; business and IT managers should expect:

· Infrastructure to hog the technology spotlight. 23% of companies see significantly upgrading the security environment as a critical technology priority in 2006. This theme is reinforced by 22% of firms indicating that their focus is on ensuring adequate disaster recovery.

· Judicious services spending. During the next 12 months, 30% of firms will make reducing IT services spend a priority '” naming it either a critical priority or priority. However, this activity appears to be more about careful spending rather than major cuts, as many firms still look set to hire consultants or systems integrators. Outsourcing services continues to pick up interest, with 57% now placing either new or the expansion of existing services on their 2006 agenda, up seven percentage points from July. Interest continues to grow in offshoring, with 8% of organisations naming it a critical priority for 2006. That said, interest in offshoring is likely to be restricted to early adopters further buoyed by the recent renewal of the memorandum of understanding for information and communications technology between the governments of Australia and India.

· A shift towards information management. The priorities of security upgrades and reducing services spending align with the current corporate IT priorities. This is particularly true for the 31% of companies that see improving IT efficiency as critical in 2006. However, information management continues to hold interest across Australasia, with 73% of respondents naming it a priority, thus, giving information management center stage alongside IT efficiency. This increased focus on information management is consistent with budget expectations from July when 71% of firms indicated increased spending on information management-related technologies.

· Australia to be ahead of the curve on portfolio management adoption. While not a major priority overall, 32% of Australian organizations still have portfolio management on the agenda in 2006. This is higher than both North America and Europe where comparative interest in this area is at 25% and 24%, respectively. The focus on portfolio management has become a major trend across all of Asia Pacific, with regional interest extremely high at 50%.

· New Zealand to show stronger interest in security than Australia. Eight out of the 30 New Zealand firms that we surveyed view security upgrades as crucial, with an additional seven considering it a priority. As a result, New Zealand's overall interest equals that shown by its North American counterparts and ranks a sharp five percentage points above Australia.

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Stan Beer


Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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