The single biggest technology challenge faced by businesses in 2008 is how to access and share business information within the company, according to a survey by software and services company, Touchstone Group.
More than 40 per cent of those surveyed by Touchstone said that IT to support collaboration across the business was the most important demand on IT. Demonstrating business value was the second concern (19 per cent), with customer relationship management (CRM) coming third (18 per cent). Corporate spend control was in fourth place (16 per cent) and innovation fifth (three per cent).
The survey also revealed a positive outlook for the IT sector across the UK, with just over 57 per cent of IT decision makers planning an increase in their IT investment over the next 12 months, with 17 per cent planning a ‘significant’ increase (more than 10 per cent of budget). Just over 35 per cent expected their investment to stay the same, with only five per cent expecting a decrease in investment.
Adrian McNay, Group Board Director, Touchstone Group, believes that UK businesses are in possession of huge amounts of valuable data that is not always immediately accessible to staff within the company: “In ever-more competitive markets it is vital to be able to retrieve business information immediately. Collaboration across the company, particularly across different countries, is important in order to be able to plan and make effective business decisions.”
The survey also showed a trend towards buying ‘best of breed’ technologies from system integrators or services companies (42 per cent), against buying a single ERP solution from one supplier (33 per cent). Just over 24 per cent prefer to buy direct from software authors.
Touchstone surveyed 250 IT directors and managers from mid-to-large enterprises, at its annual conference, held at the end of September 2007.