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Secuirty spending dominates IT budgets in 2003

Security has been the key area of spending for most companies in 2003. According to Meta Group, 66% of companies prioritised security spending in 2003.

Security spending has dominated IT budgets in 2003. According to research from Meta Group, 66% of surveyed companies focused on security and little else during 2003.

Average security spending increased from 7.6% of total IT budgets in 2002 to 8.2% in 2003. In 2001, the average investment in security amounted to just 3.2% of the total IT budget.

Security spending during 2003 primarily emphasised employed education, business continuity and disaster recovery. Security professionals agree that current employees still pose the biggest threat to companies' technology infrastructures, and their biggest concern is malicious attacks from viruses and unauthorised access to systems.

“Aside from security spending, we also saw an increase in development activity,” says META Group executive vice president and author of the 2004 Worldwide IT Benchmark Report, Dr. Howard Rubin.

“Because of tightened budgets, more emphasis was placed on integrating and extending existing applications rather than implementing new packaged applications,” he adds.

Surveyed CIOs attributed low IT spending to weak profits and current financial conciliations. A substantial number say that IT infrastructure and capacity are currently sufficient, so only limited spending is required.

In general, however, there is optimism that investment will increase in 2004, especially in the insurance and manufacturing sectors.

“We expect insurance and manufacturing companies to see significant gains in IT spending,” comments Rubin.

“These are the sectors where we have seen the most efficient and effective cost-cutting measures in the last three years. These companies are positioned to take advantage of new opportunities because they have become more agile during the lean years,” he adds.

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