IBM Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Stefan Bernbo

Related Topics: IBM Cloud

IBM Cloud: Article

Where Will the IT Dollar Be Spent in 2003?

Where Will the IT Dollar Be Spent in 2003?

Analysts and suppliers are all predicting a big upturn in tech spending during 2003, which is good news for the industry as a whole. It is certainly welcome news for software vendors and developers, who have been hit hard over the past year. It's also good news for the economy as a whole because new tech spending should spur jobs and thus spur spending. However there is still a huge question that is in need of an answer: Where will those IT dollars be spent, and who will control the purse strings?

Clearly services addressing security will be high on the list, but what about more pure infrastructure plays? In the wake of September 11th, IT spending beyond whatever is absolutely necessary has come to a grinding halt. Now, many organizations are looking at themselves and asking, "Where's the pain," or rather, "where does it hurt the most?" As the purse strings begin to loosen, IT departments wait with bated breath.

However, before they can even begin to assess the list of potential answers, they know that they will have to prove which pain is the most critical so it can be tended to first. The most effective method of proof will lie in one very simple concept: return on investment. ROI has become the way of life for IT departments. In the not-too-distant past ROI was often ignored, and many companies suffered extraordinary consequences as a result. In the next wave of spending, more attention than ever before will focus on ROI.

Projects that have extended ROI are going to be scrutinized at the CXO level very carefully. CRM and ERP systems are still going to be tough sells, considering the operational impact during implementation and the extended time frames for material payback to be realized. There will be some who go down this road, but not before making sure they understand where it is going to take them.

Business process improvement will be the guiding light for the next wave of IT spending. The days of experimental implementations are over. No longer will you hear, "Lets go with it and see what happens." There have been some amazing figures bandied around about the percentage of software that has been sold and delivered but that goes unused, sitting on the shelf. Shelfware will soon become a relic of the past as well.

I say this because a well-managed ROI process should always be an ongoing one in which decisions are studied over time in order to better understand what a successful implementation looks like. If a project is revisited with any frequency, the measurable results will impact how future decisions are made. Something sitting on the shelf provides a zero return, and these days it won't be able to hide in IT development budgets. Gone are the days of opening a storage closet and marveling at the shrink-wrapped ideas that never came to be.

The ROI revolution is taking root in an unexpected place, however. Technology vendors are facing increased competition, and they are responding by becoming better partners with their customers. It has gone beyond lip service and preferred terms. Every day more and more suppliers are becoming integral parts of the process to justify the purchase of their products.

As business accepts the practice of opening itself up to suggestions from multiple vendors, it provides an insight into its own operations that can be learned no other way than by seeing things through different eyes. Vendor competitions are becoming more revealing than ever because both sides have taken a more direct approach with one another. It's no longer just about a customer saying "prove it does what you say it does." Vendors are responding by saying, "Sure, no problem. But first let me make sure I really understand what you want it to do and why you want to do that in the first place."

IT negotiations have become more defined because now we are forced to fill in blanks that we allowed to pass by in the past. Ongoing ROI studies are going to make sure that those negotiations include all aspects of the benefit and risk to the bottom line.

The way that technology is purchased has fundamentally changed - and this change is going to create opportunities for innovation. While sales have lagged many IT suppliers have continued to labor away, refining what was bleeding-edge before the downturn. That technology is now mature and ready for prime time. As spending increases and the newer technology is adopted, business needs will continue to change, and the next wave of newer, better, and faster will begin to rise.

More Stories By Jim Martin

Jim Martin has worked in the system integration and communications industry for the past 15 years. Working on design and implementation teams, he has been instrumental in deploying Web-based mission-critical systems.

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...