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Economic crisis not a threat to IT initiatives

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CIOL Bureau
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ARMONK, N.Y: IT major IBM on Monday announced that it has revealed, 'Inside the Midmarket: A 2009 Perspective' a  new study of mid-size organizations in 17 countries.

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The study shows that companies have not been deterred from their plans for strategic IT initiatives that range from information management, security management to social media and cloud computing -- despite a clear recognition of the need to cut costs in a difficult economy.

Conducted in April - May 2009, the study revealed five key trends :

The highest-priority technology solution, chosen by 75 per cent of respondents, is Information Management, which turns mountains of data into meaningful insights

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The most pressing business challenges include increasing efficiency and productivity (80 per cent), improving customer care (74 per cent) and better use of information (72 per cent)

The impact of the economy on IT budgets has caused 53 per cent to actually increase or re-prioritize their spending, with 37 per cent reporting a decrease

Despite the economy, more than two-thirds of those surveyed are planning or currently implementing their top IT priorities

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In spite of the current economic climate and concerns about barriers to successful implementation of IT projects, more than two-thirds are planning or currently implementing their top IT priorities, led by Infrastructure Reliability (75 per cent), Disaster Recovery (72 per cent), Information Management (71 percent) and Security Management (68 per cent).

This year's survey also illustrates the growing role of emerging technologies, such as cloud computing, green IT, and social media, said a press release.

While lower on the scale of critical priorities, midmarket companies are actively pursuing several emerging technology areas to improve performance. The survey shows that 79 per cent intend to implement, have established goals, or have started/completed implementation of Green IT solutions, followed closely by social media/Web 2.0 (71 per cent) and Cloud Computing (69 per cent).

The relationship that midmarket organizations have with their IT providers reflects an increasingly strategic view of IT's role in supporting business objectives. According to the study, only one in four organizations view the relationship as transactional, with the remaining respondents seeing their IT provider as a technology advisor or IT and business consultant.

The highest rated criteria when choosing an IT provider to partner with was having the expertise to help them work smarter, chosen by 70 per cent of respondents.

The study also looked at the perceived impact of economic stimulus spending programs. Approximately 50 per cent of organizations worldwide expect to benefit from these programs, added the release.