• United States

Management outlook for 2004

Jan 07, 20043 mins
Data Center

* Quick survey of readers on prospects in 2004

I recently asked readers to share their IT plans for the New Year. Here’s what the management outlook looks like for some.

Overall, the promise of an improved economy will begin to show up in IT activities in 2004. Some companies are moving forward with significant business initiatives, which is a definite sign that companies are beginning to reinvest in IT and are moving forward with business plans. For example, one company is more than doubling its IT budget to deploy an enterprise resource planning system. However, there is still caution in the air, and many companies are not investing as aggressively as the company noted above. In fact, in most cases, the increases are much more modest.

There are still, as one would expect, management technologies and tools that our IT professionals feel they need but their companies won’t buy them. Some of this is still attributable to the poor economy, but also at work is the normal internal budgetary tug of war that simply can’t satisfy everyone, with some getting management tools they need and some doing without. 

As for specific management tools and technologies that companies are planning to take on this year, it looks like firms are working on improving their infrastructure. In some cases, it seems that projects that couldn’t be done in 2003 due to budget constraints are finally getting approvals to move forward.

The IT organizations that responded are looking to automate more management functions – not as a major initiative, however, but instead on a tactical basis to extend their abilities to do more with less. They indicate that some automation is being used today, though not extensively. And when asked if automated provisioning, which has garnered a lot of attention in 2003 as vendors acquired and built up their capabilities, is part of their plans for 2004, it looks like a mixed bag, with several companies not addressing this issue.

Our readers’ organizations do not yet have plans for making the transformation to “on-demand” or “real-time enterprise” initiatives. There still seems to be confusion surrounding these initiatives, which could be contributing to the hesitation to take on a major initiative here.

If you didn’t have a chance to respond and would like to, I’m still interested in hearing about your plans for the new year. Send me e-mail, with “Plans for 2004” in the subject line, to