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Economic crisis not a threat to SMB IT initiatives: IBM

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DQW Bureau
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IBM announced the release of 'Inside the Midmarket: A 2009 Perspective' a new

study of mid-size organizations in 17 countries.

The study shows that companies have not been deterred from their plans for

strategic IT initiatives that range from information management, security

management to social media and cloud computing-despite a clear recognition of

the need to cut costs in a difficult economy.

The study revealed five key trends :

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  • The highest-priority technology solution, chosen by 75 percent of

    respondents, is Information Management, which turns mountains of data into

    meaningful insights
  • The most pressing business challenges include increasing effici­ency and

    productivity (80 percent), improving customer care (74 percent) and better use

    of information (72 percent)
  • The impact of the economy on IT budgets has caused 53 percent to actually

    increase or re-prioritize their spending, with 37 per cent reporting a

    decrease
  • Despite the economy, more than two-thirds of those surveyed are planning

    or currently implementing their top IT priorities
  • In spite of the current economic climate and concerns about barriers to

    successful implementation of IT projects, more than two-thirds are planning or

    currently implementing their top IT priorities, led by Infrastructure

    Reliability (75 percent), Disaster Recovery (72 percent), Information

    Management (71 percent) and Security Management (68 percent).

This year's survey also illustrates the growing role of emerging

technologies, such as cloud computing, green IT, and social media, said a press

release.

While lower on the scale of critical priorities, mid-market companies are

actively pursuing several emerging technology areas to improve performance. The

survey shows that 79 percent intend to implement, have esta­blished goals, or

have started/completed imple­men­tation of Green IT solutions, followed closely

by social media/Web 2.0 (71 percent) and Cloud Computing (69 percent).

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The relationship that mid-market organizations have with their IT providers

reflects an increasingly strategic view of IT's role in supporting business

objectives. According to the study, only one in four organizations view the

relationship as transac­tional, with the remaining respondents seeing their IT

provider as a technology advisor or IT and business consultant.

The highest rated criteria when choosing an IT provider to partner with was

having the expertise to help them work smarter, chosen by 70 percent of

respondents.

The study also looked at the perceived impact of economic stimulus spending

programs. Approximately 50 percent of organizations worldwide expect to benefit

from these programs.

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