Companies increasing IT investments despite volatile economy

More than 25 percent of companies are increasing their investments in information technology (IT) this year, according to the Value of IT Investments survey of more than 500 IT professionals in the US. Conducted by ISACA, the survey also found that only 16 percent of companies are making across-the-board cuts in IT spending and 14 percent are freezing at current levels.

Many organizations are trying to avoid making widespread cuts in IT because of growing awareness that IT, when implemented strategically, has the potential to deliver tremendous business value, according to Robert Stroud, international vice president of ISACA.

More than 69 percent of respondents indicate that their organizations are achieving at least 50 to 100 percent of the expected value from their investments in IT.

Among the benefits organizations receive from their IT-related investments, respondents cited improved customer service (31.2 percent) and cost reduction (24.2 percent) as the two most important. Somewhat surprisingly, only 17.7 percent named new or improved products and services as the top benefit.

The survey also identified improvements that need to be made. For example, while more than 82 percent of companies measure value in some way, only 51.8 percent have a framework, such as Val IT, or guidelines in place to select the investments that will result in the highest value.

Additionally, many companies do not have a consistent definition of what constitutes value. Only 33.7 percent of survey respondents say a shared understanding of value exists across different departments, such as IT and finance.

In another example of the lack of business and IT alignment, nearly 47 percent of survey respondents said the CIO is responsible for ensuring that stakeholder returns on IT-related investments are optimized. Only 20 percent said responsibility lies with the board, the CEO or the CFO.

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