IT managers an un-wired bunch

Our top IT managers are too busy to surf the Net, and don't frequent any newsgroups. That's the finding of this week's Computerworld 1000 Survey. Less than half the respondents regularly visit Web sites for information - the vast majority surf for specific information as and when they need it. Newsgroups also suffer from a lack of interest - only four respondents belong to newsgroups and regularly access them for information.

Our top IT managers are too busy to surf the Net, and don't belong to any newsgroups.

That's the finding of this week's Computerworld 1000 Survey, in which we talk to IT managers from a random sample of 30 of New Zealand's largest-turnover companies.

Only 14 respondents regularly visit Web sites for information — the vast majority surf for specific information as and when they need it.

Newsgroups also suffer from a lack of interest —only four respondents belong to newsgroups and regularly access them for information. It seems the most popular form of information gathering is still reading the paper.

"I read the New Zealand publications regularly and some of the overseas stuff, but generally I don't have enough time," says one respondent.

One respondent who does regularly read an online publication is Warren Garlich, IS manager for Fraser Thomas, an Auckland-based consulting engineering firm.

"I regularly read Cambodia News, which is a little unusual, I would imagine," says Garlich. He needs to keep up with what's happening in a country where traditional media sources are few and far between, and he finds the Web the perfect medium.

"[Asia is] part of our revenue stream and Cambodia is one market we have been fostering. It's just a matter of keeping in touch and watching."

Garlich also uses the Web for upgrading software, among other things.

Jeff Livingstone, systems manager for Hamilton-based Kiwi Control Systems, doesn't have a regular site he checks out, but does have trouble finding industry-relevant stories to read.

"We do mostly dairy farm type work, installations and the like." While KCS does send and receive a lot of email news, Livingstone hasn't found there is a need yet to join a newsgroup.

"We've got all the gear, Internet ready and everything, but we've not found the need for it yet. The time will come, though."

Livingstone does find industry peers useful, however.

"We belong to a group that does discuss the sort of things we need to keep up with, and that's very useful." The Computerworld 1000 results, however, suggest that many IT managers don't favour their peers as sources of information.

Only two respondents claimed that they considered peers a useful source of information. Presumably they were talking to each other. Fortunately, both consider their peers to be sources of good information — both scored eight out of 10 on the quality rating.

The other top sources of information regularly used include general newspapers (eight respondents like to read the news) and vendors, which had 10 votes. Television received only two votes, and consultants one vote as a useful source of information.

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