UK business ready to invest again in IT

A study of 550 business across Europe conducted by IDC/Microsoft found that UK businesses are the most optimistic in Europe regarding economic improvement over the coming 12 months.

Three out of five UK businesses said they had seen little negative impact from the recent economic conditions and 56% predicted a positive change within the next 12 months.

At the same time, more than half of UK businesses – 54% – have increased their spending on IT over last year, with integration and collaboration technologies to improve communications between customers, suppliers, partners and employees earmarked as the top two investment categories.

But despite the optimism, skills issues and cost factors are still holding back IT plans for many respondents. Just over a third of respondents said the need for IT systems to deliver rapid return on investment is critical to securing funding for IT projects today.

Richard Robinson, consulting director at IDC, said the research showed that IT had become a tool to achieve business goals and is no longer seen as a goal in itself.

‘Although in the current climate, the resolve to maximise value and focus on the bottom line has become acute, it’s important to remember that no-one ever increased market share by cutting costs alone,’ Robinson said. ‘Key criteria for IT investment are more strategic today than in the technological push a few years back, and we expect this trend to continue.’

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