Feeds

UK IT spend – it's not so bad after all

Upbeat-ish NCC survey

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

At last, a welcome change from all those market carnage / vendor roadkill reports. The National Computing Centre(NCC) today releases its twentieth annual survey of IT spending in the UK. And the results are faintly encouraging.

The NCC 2001 survey is based on answers from 390 organisations, with a collective annual IT spend of £1bn-plus.

First the good news for IT vendors. Confidence in IT spending remains buoyant, according to the NCC poll, with a small majority of respondents (57 per cent) forecasting a spending increase of 2.4 per cent in the current year, up from 1.8 per cent the previous year.

Now the not so good news: NCC took a second snapshot of opinion following the September 11 attacks; while 73 per cent of respondents said that their spending plans remained unchanged, 27 per cent had revised IT spending plans in the light of changing economic prospects. Not so good, but not so terrible either.

Curate's Egg

The NCC survey records a huge disparity of IT spend between various industries - with the annual amount per user in the health sector (£1,325) coming in at less than 10 per cent of that of users in the finance sector (£13,685).

Local government joins health as "Cinderella sectors', so far as the NCC is concerned. Councils' total combined IT spend per end-user(£2,203), compares poorly with the median annual IT spend across all sectors of £3,022 per end user.

Central government is more generous to itself, with an annual spend of £4,444. The difference between local and central government for capital spend per end user is even more marked (£463: £1,333), the survey notes.

There are also huge variations in the numbers of IT staff per end user, with the finance sector and averaging 106 IT staff per 1000 users, while the Health sector makes do with 19 per 1000.

Accountability

Do organisations get value for money from their IT spend? More to the point do they know how to evaluate whether they are getting value for money in the first place. According to NCC, control and evaluation is patchy. Eighty per cent of organisations exert central control over their IT budgets, but only 56 per cent have "mechanisms for evaluating the effectiveness and value of that spend".

The NCC Says

NCC views as essential the accelerated take-up of IT by the Manufacturing and Distribution sectors, and by Local and Central Government if competitiveness and e-government targets are to be achieved. The Health sector in particular is badly served by its low expenditure and low number of IT staff per end user.

There needs to be greater accountability for the measurement of IT spend if the IT function is to be better represented at company board level. ®

Related Stories

Gartner CEO gets Darwinian
UK plc wastes £17bn a year on IT
DIY e-biz ROI flatters to deceive
Internet ROI: The next big stumbling block?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.