Nearly seven in 10 IT departments are confident they will deliver their IT projects next year, in spite of the risks of budget cuts.
Some 68% are confident they will achieve their goals, according to a survey of 500 IT departments in the UK and Ireland, commissioned by networking supplier Cisco.
But there is a large disparity between people's hopes and what they genuinely expect to happen, the 'IT Reality Gap' survey found, with 42% of departments saying the economic downturn has already had a high impact on IT strategy in the past six months. Over half of businesses said budgets and resource next year would affect projects.
While some 56% of respondents said network security was a high priority, only 30% believed achieving objectives in that area will be straightforward. Over half of the respondents said network performance was a high priority, but only 27% said achieving this goal would be straightforward. And while 58% said it was important or very important for the network to support video, 71% associated challenges with delivering content.
Time and budget challenges are most likely to be experienced in the delivery of security and next-generation applications, the survey said, whilst a lack of needed skills is a more prevalent challenge in achieving unified communications goals.
David Clarke, chief executive at the British Computing Society, added: "IT innovation has a critical role to play in a challenging commercial environment, as do clarity, flexibility and confidence. It is those businesses that are best prepared for 'stormy' weather that will have the greatest chance of success.
"While IT is seen as a strategic enabler in many businesses, it's important that businesses also recognise the impact that constraints such as skills, resources, budgets and time can have on the IT department's ability to enhance business performance."