IT Organizations Spending Money to Save Money?

IT budgets took a serious hit in the last year, according to recent data gathered through our annual survey process conducted by Readex, an independent research firm. The reason for the drop in spending is no mystery--average gross revenue for IT organizations responding to our survey dropped from $4 billion in 2009 to $2.8 billion in 2010. Spending on IT consulting was slashed--down 61 percent in this year's survey from 2009. But on the bright side, IT staffing expenditures dropped only about 6 percent, perhaps a sign that companies did what they could to keep experienced staff members engaged in running core IT infrastructure and processes.

Spending on computer systems dropped 57 percent from 2009 to 2010, according to our survey. Amidst this slashing, however, a few technologies crept into organizations--namely Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. About 66% of respondents reported that Windows 7 is in use in their organizations, and 48 percent are using Windows 7 x64 Edition. Vista, of course, took the hit for Windows 7--plunging from 94 percent of respondents reporting its use in 2009 results to 39 percent in 2010. 

Our readers are adopting Windows Server 2008 at a fairly robust clip--49 percent of organizations are using Windows Server 2008 and 53 percent are using Windows Server 2008 R2. The need to implement a virtualized environment--typically as a cost-saving measure--is driving some of these Windows Server 2008 R2 deployments. Gary Magnuson, an IT specialist with Kroll Factual Data in Loveland, Colorado, said his team evaluated long-term savings in deciding to invest in new hardware to support their Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 roll-out.

“It costs you in one way, but saves you in the other,” Magnuson said. “Also, if you have some servers that are running toward the end of life, instead of buying a new server you can convert it to a VM. Besides getting rid of the physical box, virtualization saves you on power. You’re saving the purchase of the physical box itself, physical memory for that box, repairs on the physical box, and power.”

Is your IT organization spending money to save money? Let me know what tactics you're using to stretch your IT budget as the economy continues to limp along. And don't forget to follow me on Twitter

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