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Contributing Writer

Network World 500 Study: What’s on your mind

Jun 30, 20043 mins
Data Center

* Network execs say they will spend on enterprise apps and handheld devices

Each year, Network World polls IT executives to see where they are putting their resources. It’s an excellent benchmark for how technologies are faring in the enterprise. If you want to know what IT executives are opening their wallets to, the Network World 500 Study will give you the answers.

For instance, enterprise applications seem to be top of mind for many IT managers. In fact, 57% of the 500 network execs polled said they will dedicate more financial resources to this area this year. This doesn’t surprise me as many legacy applications are in the process of being Web-ified so that remote workers can access them. Also, there are new installations of compliance-aware applications being performed. And let’s not forget all those new voice and mobile applications that are on tap. Applications are definitely going through a renaissance as performance is becoming more reliable and able to be measured.

Another area that is seeing a boom is “handheld devices.” In the study, this market compelled 56% of IT executives surveyed to say that they would be handing over more money to mobile solutions. Again, this is not surprising. Companies are moving toward a flexible workforce that is available 24-7 from any locale. This means giving employees the tools they need to make this possible. And since many don’t want to drag a full laptop around everywhere they go, handheld devices are becoming the norm. They are coming in all flavors and are gaining significant power. Even the thickest network applications can be modified for access via handhelds.

Security is still high up on the list of budget appropriations for IT executives. The study predicts that intrusion prevention technology will be a significant area of interest for network groups. This is in line with what Joel Snyder, senior partner at Opus One and a Network World Technology Tour moderator said in the Security Technology Tour this year. And as we noted in that tour, organizations are shelling out for a large variety of security tools. This can be good and bad. Shoring up your infrastructure is great, but you want to be strategic about what you’re buying. Make sure you’re taking on the right products for the right task.

Servers and storage rank high in the study as blade servers are making their mark and storage management is helping IT executives get a handle on their data. Both servers and storage are bread and butter technologies that all IT groups need and will continue to need well into the future.

VoIP ranked a bit lower than I expected, with only 34% of IT executives committing to spend more money this year on the technology. I expect we’ll see a spike next year in those numbers as the maturity of applications steps up.

This is just a snapshot of the study. I’ll be sharing more tidbits in the near future. If you want to purchase the report, it’s available at


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