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Still tough times for IT departments

From the National Computing Centre, Manchester UK.
8th January 2010

Cost cutting, delayed projects and reduced budgets are still very much the order of the day for many IT departments. This is according to the National Computing Centre’s latest survey of IT infrastructure plans. The research was undertaken by NCC's Evaluation Centre, an interactive online service guiding IT buyers in the selection and use of business software, services and technology.

A considerable number of those surveyed (28%) admit they have had to undertake significant cost cutting in their IT operations and a further 32% have had to make moderate cuts. On the more positive side 21% have only had to make limited cuts and 19% have had no cost cuts.

The end result of this is that many companies are delaying investment in their infrastructure. In total 38% say they are postponing hardware upgrades, while 33% are putting on hold refreshing their software and 29% are delaying upgrading their network infrastructure.

The picture doesn’t look too much brighter for this year with 33% expecting a further decrease in their IT budget and 47% expecting it to stay about the same. Only 13% anticipate an increase in their budgets.

Steve Fox, Evaluation Centre Managing Director, commented: “The pressure will be on IT departments for some time to be prudent and save costs wherever possible while still trying to enhance service delivery. This makes it even more imperative for IT vendors to demonstrate value for money and show rapid return on investment for their solutions.”

The interest in virtualisation technology for industry standard processors continues to grow and this is having a major impact on infrastructure design. There are a number of different flavours of virtualisation but by far the biggest impact has been made by server virtualisation. It addresses the two key areas of cost reduction and providing environmental benefits and companies see it as playing either a very important (55%) or an important (27%) role in their IT environment.

A further choice facing companies trying to reduce costs is whether or not to move any of their IT operations to an offshore location. The number of viable countries continues to expand providing increased choice between near-shore sites in Europe and far-shore locations around the globe. Currently, 29% of organisations are using offshore locations with an additional 2% in the planning stage and 2% evaluating the option. This route has not been considered by 24% of companies while 7% have rejected this approach and 29% would not use offshore providers.

When new IT systems are purchased, then it is desirable that suppliers have environmental policies in place both for the manufacture and recycling of the equipment. A third of all companies (33%) say they evaluate manufacturers’ environmental policies whenever they purchase equipment but 30% only do it for certain equipment, while 23% say they do not as it is not as important as the solution itself.

Survey Statistics:

Over 100 companies were interviewed for this year’s survey on IT infrastructure. For this survey we asked a wide range of companies for their opinions on a number of issues relating to the development of their IT infrastructure. Among the sectors represented were: IT & telecoms (13%), public sector (13%), construction (11%), business services (9%) and distribution & logistics (8%).

The respondents represented a spread of different sized companies with 9% having in excess of £5 billion turnover, 11% in the £1 billion to £5 billion bracket and 9% in the £500 million to £1 billion range.

In the mid-range 25% have between £100 million and £500 million turnover and 17% are in the £50 million to £100 million range.

At the smaller end 13% have a turnover between £10 million and £50 million and 16% £5 million to £10 million.

The survey is available from

About The National Computing Centre (NCC)
The National Computing Centre (NCC) helps IT decision-makers deliver effective solutions to business problems by bringing together users, experts and vendors to share experiences and develop best practices. We are a non profit distributing organisation.

About the Evaluation Centre
The Evaluation Centre ( is an interactive service for end users and consultants to assist them in the procurement process for software, services and technology.

Press enquiries:
For more information please contact Steve Fox on 0870 908 8767 or email or Cliff Mills on 0870 908 8767 or email

Press Contact
Michael Dean
National Computing Centre
Oxford House, Oxford Road
Manchester M1 7ED

Tel: +44 (0)161 242 2121
Mob: 07703 501 129

NCC Weekly News 08 Jan 2010



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