One-third of 1,200 organisations (33%) plan to convert their application environments away from a traditional, client-server model to one based on virtualisation and cloud computing over the next two years, according to a study commissioned by Microsoft.
The survey, while not comprehensive, suggested that IT spending will not be cut, with 98% saying they will generally maintain or increase their planned investment.
Nearly 2/3 say the economy has created reason to invest more in one or more areas of technology. And of those, virtualisation, security, systems management and cloud computing are the areas of choice. Specifically:
- 42% plan increased investment in virtualisation.
- 36% plan increased investment in security.
- 24% plan increased investment in systems management.
- 16% plan increased investment in cloud computing.
On spending priorities, security remains the top challenge, with 73% saying protection of consumer and customer data as the top priority. Additionally:
- 55% indicate that the economy has changed the role of IT in their organisation.
- 51% say that budget cuts are the biggest barrier to innovation.
- Innovation is taking a back seat to maintenance. In 2009 companies on average worldwide will allocate 37% of their budget to innovation and 63% toward “keeping the lights on.”
However, the study also showed that US companies were allocating less budget toward "innovation," and more toward maintenance than their international counterparts, said Microsoft's Bob Kelly, corporate vice president of infrastructure server marketing in an online press conference. In the US the breakout was innovation 29% vs. maintenance 71%. This compares to the UK and Japan's 41% / 59% ratio and Germany's 35% / 65%.
One area that is unlikely to attract funding is green IT, the study found. While most of those surveyed (84%), said they considered green factors when making decisions about datacentres, when push comes to shove, a technology's green-ness is only a factor for 44% when deciding what to spend on.