Enterprise IT: The top priorities

Cautious optimism is the anecdotal sentiment we hear most often when discussing the health and demeanor of enterprise IT, and data in a recent Network World technology priorities study bears that out.

About a third of the respondents say their budgets increased for 2010 (an average of 6%), while another third are maintaining 2009 spending levels and a final third saw their budgets get cut back. In a similar survey last year, 40% of the respondents were looking at budget reductions.

We then drilled down to see where enterprise buyers stand on some specific technologies. Not surprisingly, there is still a lot of activity around server virtualization. Some 54% of the respondents are currently implementing or have already deployed the technology, with 10% of that lot saying they are implementing it enterprisewide. Another 27% have server virtualization on their radar or are actively researching the option.

As you would expect, a smaller number (21%) have deployed one of the various flavors of desktop virtualization. But 22% say they are actively researching VDI and another 28% say they have it on radar. That validates rosy VDI forecasts from Gartner and others.

Virtualization is, after all, one of the technologies that stayed hot through the darkest days of the recession because it leads to immediate savings. Cloud computing is another technology that has benefited from the economic slump because cloud options promise to reduce both CAPEX and OPEX. In fact, David Moschella, global research director for CSC's Leading Edge Forum, estimates the recession has accelerated interest in cloud computing by two years.

Of the different types of cloud services available today: some 57% of the survey respondents say they are using or considering software-as-a-service (SaaS, the hosting of specific apps); about a third are using or considering infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS, the hosting of compute/storage resources); while only 17% are using or considering platform-as-a-service (which adds to IaaS a Web or application development framework).

Some of the other interesting findings:

* 25% of the respondents have deployed or are deploying Windows 7, while 30% are researching the move and 29% have it on their radar.

* 22% are implementing Wi-Fi to replace wired Ethernet coverage, while 12% are actively researching that option and 24% have it on the scope.

* 27% are or have implemented 10G Ethernet, 13% are researching the tech, and a whopping 35% see it on their radar screens.

Taken together, the survey shows enterprise technology is warming up and buyers have a good idea about what projects to tackle next. There's plenty of innovation in the pipeline.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

This story, "Enterprise IT: The top priorities" was originally published by Network World.

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