Content management, security top 2002 IT shopping lists

Content and document management, security, and hardware are on the minds of IT buyers in 2002, according to a survey of IT buying intentions by Aberdeen Group.

Overall, the Boston-based analyst firm projects a 3 percent growth in IT spending worldwide and 4 percent growth in the United States, based on the survey and other macroeconomic factors, said Aberdeen analyst Hugh Bishop, senior vice president of emerging technology research.

Enterprises are looking for business value, not just technology, he said.

"I think that the key thing is people want to purchase applications that are going to give them near-term if not immediate return on their investments," Bishop said.

In a survey of more than 150 IT buyers in late-2001, 45 percent said they planned to buy content and document management applications, with 43.7 percent planning to buy Web analytics and 42.6 percent eyeing customer service and support applications.

Under the category of technology infrastructure, security gateways and services led the way, with 55.3 percent planning a purchase. Network and systems management followed closely with 55.2 percent, and backup and recovery trailed closely with 50.5 percent.

The events of Sept. 11 have spurred greater interest in topics such as security and backup and recovery, Bishop said.

"Clearly, Sept. 11 had an effect on that," Bishop said. "People are interested in protecting their assets and making what they have work better."

Users are planning increases in hardware spending in categories such as servers, desktops, handhelds, and network hardware, according to the report. Growth rates range from 8.1 percent for handhelds to 10.2 percent for servers.

In the area of services, between 38 percent and 58 percent expect no change in services spending.

Vendors of such offerings as partner relationship management and professional services automation need to do a better job in stating their case to potential customers, Bishop said. These applications were on the low end of priority lists for IT buyers, despite presenting value, Bishop said.

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