Recession resistant: 10 technologies CIOs are still buying

Information security, virtualization and data center efficiency top CIOs' list of IT investments for 2009

Despite a challenging economy, about 70% of CIOs intend to invest in IT in 2009, citing information security, virtualization and data center efficiency as key initiatives.

Seven out of 10 CIOs looking to weather the economic storm know they need to put even scarce budget dollars toward investments in technologies that will help them secure information, virtualize resources and make data centers more efficient, recent survey results show.

Even in the midst of a recession, IT leaders realize they can't neglect certain technologies, according to Robert Half Technology, which recently polled 1,400 CIOs to learn in which areas they plan to invest 2009 budget dollars. Seventy-percent said their companies will invest in IT initiatives in the next 12 months, with 43% indicating that information security projects would be a top priority. Twenty-eight percent plan investments in virtualization and 27% will be looking to make their data centers more efficient with technology buys.

"In any economy, protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information is a must-have for companies of all sizes. Technology executives in the financial services and transportation sectors cited security most often, with 59% and 58% of the responses, respectively," according to the staffing firm.

VoIP and software-as-a-service initiatives are expected this year for 26% of those surveyed, both technology areas promising lower costs and greater flexibility for IT departments. One-fifth of respondents indicated they would work on green IT in 2009, and 19% intend to invest in business intelligence. Social networking projects are on tap for 18% of CIOs polled and another 17% will look to buy Web 2.0 technologies. Sixteen percent of the IT leaders, who were allowed multiple responses, said they would invest in outsourcing in 2009.

"Although times are lean, many companies are finding that they can't afford to postpone IT investments that lead to increased security, efficiencies or revenues," said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Organizations also are trying to make sure they are prepared for growth when conditions improve and enhancing their IT infrastructure is part of that process."

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