With the knock-on effects of the deep recession of 2008-2009 and recent coalition budgetary cuts, it is no surprise that most participants stated that budget was their biggest IT challenges in 2010 and 2011. 58.8% of the respondents chose this as their greatest issue in 2010, with many projects being cut or put on hold. 66.1% of the survey participants went on to select budget as their expected biggest IT challenge in 2011 suggesting that organisations are tightening their finances even further. Budgetary constraints were also highlighted as the biggest challenge affecting organisations’ IT efficiency.
In terms of efficiency, most firms feel as if their IT services are satisfactory. Back-up routine, security, and disaster recovery- perhaps the most critical services, were those flagged as the least efficient. Regardless of this many firms are not currently looking to improve these services and are being driven more in terms of the budget than requirements in 2011.
To reduce IT expenditure, the majority of UK firms are either investing in virtualisation or are implementing self-service initiatives in the next 12 months. Around 25% of the respondents stated that they will be reducing the size of their IT teams, even though in-house resources and team-skill sets were both highlighted as areas of inefficiency. Furthermore, over 22% of respondents are implementing cloud computing this year to reduce costs. Cloud computing is definitely a good solution for firms with low budgets -users can avoid capital expenditure on hardware, software, and other peripheral services; consumption is billed as a utility or subscription with little or no upfront cost.
Frontier Technology’s survey shows that the majority of UK firms were driven by budget rather than their requirements and efficiency needs in 2010 and this trend will stay the same in 2011. Firms are adopting solutions such as virtualisation and cloud computing and are downscaling their teams to enable them to reduce costs.