IT budgets to stay tight in 2004

FRAMINGHAM (12/12/2003) - "Doing more with less" continues to be a strong IT strategy among CIOs for next year, according to a Merrill Lynch & Co. report published this month. A survey of 100 CIOs in the U.S. and Europe shows that, on average, budgets are being reviewed quarterly to retain some spending flexibility. Other survey highlights include the following:

-- Demand for outsourcing is strong, and 70 percent of CIOs are satisfied with their offshore experiences.

-- CIOs are more likely to hold back software spending because they're skeptical of vendors' claims than because of fear that the software will become shelfware.

-- Spending on storage will increase, with EMC Corp. and IBM gaining the most market share.

-- Fewer than 10 percent of CIOs have hired IBM to transform processes using its e-business on demand, even though about 33 percent say they have talked with IBM about the new technology.

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