IT is a cost not a money-spinner, biz says

And compliance a huge drag on IT budget

Most large Irish companies consider IT as a business cost rather than a possible revenue generator, according to a new survey.

The Coleman Parkes study revealed that only one in 10 major companies in Ireland spends more of their IT budget on potentially money-making ideas than on non-revenue generating activities.

The report authors, who were commissioned by system access specialist firm Citrix, believe this result is a "stark warning" to technology providers and vendors that price and infrastructure, not business benefits, are the current influencing factors for companies' IT decisions.

The study, which interviewed senior management from 100 organisations in Ireland, and a further 400 across Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and South Africa, also found that the latest generation of financial compliance regulations are still a major concern when budgeting for IT expenditure.

More than 40 per cent of companies surveyed are spending a third of their IT budget to help them comply with financial compliance rules such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel II, while one company in every 10 estimates that a massive 70 per cent of their IT budget is now solely compliance related.

Other key findings reveal seven out of 10 large Irish companies have centralised their IT management and control departments - a development which mirrors results in the other countries surveyed. Similarly, as in all of the other countries surveyed except Belgium, just over half of Irish senior managers believe new IT applications are secure.

"It's encouraging to note that Irish companies are 'future proofing' their IT through the centralisation of IT management and control, and also implementing web based services," Citrix managing director Richard Jackson said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in the sphere of mobile working, 70 per cent of Irish companies believe remote access to email and the internet is sufficient for an employee to be classified as a mobile worker, but two thirds feel that trust is a key impediment to the successful implementation of such mobile working. That's according to a survey also carried out by Coleman Parks on behalf of Citrix.

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