Shaping a five-year plan

Ask IT managers what they plan to buy in five years time and all they can really do is guess.

"If I had guessed five years ago where the market would be in five years' time, I would be so far out, my guesses would have been meaningless," according to Symantec's Asia Pacific senior IT director Mark Flowers.

“Planning for two to three years in advance is probably more tangible.”

From an architectural point of view, Flowers said, IT changes so quickly it's too difficult to guess.

Manpower Services Australia director of technology and services delivery, Suzanne Kerslake, said the company has a three-year plan and its "jam-packed".

“In 2005 we plan to look at our front office system and in 2006 we want to implement a new financial system," she said.

Thiess Services PC and network support manager Peter Mellor predicts there will be advances in antispam and antivirus software.

Mellor has also chosen not to look beyond three years, with a plan to expand staff resources, and to assess the use of portals.

“If I could have anything I wanted in five years time, it would be a secure wireless system, because it would save us a fortune in cabling costs when setting up new sites, and would also allow easier access of information to staff,” Mellor said.

RSM Bird Cameron IT resources manager Paul Joeseph also wants to see how far wireless will go in the next five years, and other developments that will take place in the telecommunications field.

“We’ll probably also see the next step with CRM systems, and developments in supply chain management solutions, as that appears to be a big area at the moment,” Joeseph said.

“Our plan is to carry out lots of consolidation within the next five years, as our company has experienced a lot of growth through acquisitions. We will also be carrying out a lot of work with generic and across-the-board CRM systems.”

According to Joeseph, he would be interested in anything in five years time that would add to the productivity for the organization, believing that this is the key for service providers.

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