Survey: Premier 100 Leaders Weigh In on the Industry's Hot Topics

In an exclusive Computerworld survey, this year's Premier 100 IT Leaders and conference attendees from IT user companies offered their opinions on the hot issues in the industry. Questions covered a range of topics, including offshore outsourcing, security and regulatory compliance.

The results follow. Note that the respondent base for all questions is 159, unless otherwise noted.

The Future of IT

A majority said they are optimistic about the future of IT as a strategic contributor to business success:

73% reported being very optimistic

25% said they are somewhat optimistic

2% said they aren't at all optimistic

Utility and On-Demand Computing

When asked if they are considering utility or on-demand computing:

11% said they had implemented some aspects of it

33% said they are evaluating it but have made no decision

29% reported that they aren't considering implementing it because they don't have applications suited for a utility model

23% reported that they weren't considering it because there are too many uncertainties

4% reported that they plan to switch to a utility model for some or all applications in the next 12 months

When asked about the impact of utility or on-demand computing on their organization*:

28% reported that it will have no impact

25% said it will cut operational costs

25% said it will reduce capital expenses

14% said it will cut staffing needs and costs

9% said it will increase their budgets

*Respondents could choose all that apply

Web Services

When asked what is impeding their companies' adoption of Web services:

25% said security is the greatest obstacle

22% cited lack of in-house skills to support the technology

22% said product immaturity is the greatest obstacle

12% cited a lack of standards

8% said cost is the greatest obstacle

3% said there are no obstacles

3% indicated infrastructure-architecture issues

5% cited a variety of other obstacles

Base: 153 respondents


The security issues that cause their companies the greatest expense or potential for business disruption are:

Viruses, worms and "zero-day" attacks: 57%

Patch management: 24%

Spam: 10%

Network intrusions or application layer attacks: 8%

Other: 1%

Base: 158 respondents

In the past year, the percentage of their IT budgets spent on security:

Increased: 82%

Remained the same: 18%

Less than 1% of respondents said the percentage of their IT budget decreased.

Base: 158 respondents


When asked about their plans for Linux in 2004:

34% said they are increasing Linux use with current or additional applications

31% said they don't use Linux and have no plans to do so

21% said they are holding steady with current usage levels

7% said they are replacing Unix, where feasible, with Linux

7% said they are replacing Windows, where feasible, with Linux

Regulatory Compliance

Survey takers were asked to gauge their IT organizations' involvement and their own involvement in their companies' regulatory compliance activities (for example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act):

52% said they are substantially involved but not in charge

24% said they are somewhat involved in an advisory role

17% said they aren't at all involved

7% said they are completely in charge of the effort

Outsourcing and Staffing

Respondents reported the percentage of IT work at their companies that is currently outsourced to third-party providers:

Up to 25%: 61%

0%: 22%

Up to 50%: 13%

Up to 75%: 3%

Up to 100%: 1%

Base: 158 respondents

On their current use offshore outsourcing:*

43% said they aren't using offshore outsourcers

24% said they are using offshore outsourcers for new application development

18% said they are using offshore outsourcers for maintenance or support of existing applications

6% said they are using offshore outsourcers for infrastructure work, including network management, systems and database administration, real-time application management and help desk operations

5% said they are using offshore outsourcers for call-center operations

4% said they are using offshore outsourcers for business processes work.

*Respondents could choose all that apply

Respondents reported their 2004 IT hiring plans for U.S.-based employees:

44% said they plan to increase their U.S.-based staff

43% have no changes in staffing levels planned

13% indicated that they will decrease their U.S.-based staff

Those who are hiring in 2004 said they expect to add IT staff in the following areas:*

Systems integration or Web services: 30%

Project management: 27%

Infrastructure-networking: 27%

Linux development: 7%

Application development: 3%

Other: 6%

*Respondents could choose all that apply

How the Survey Was Conducted

This survey was sent to Computerworld's Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2004 and those attendees of the 2004 Premier 100 IT Leaders conference who work at IT user companies. Honorees and conference attendees were asked questions related to topics at the upcoming Premier 100 IT Leaders conference program. A total of 159 completed surveys were received.

The study was administered via the Internet. Each Premier 100 IT honoree and attendee was sent an e-mail message on Feb. 4, 2004, inviting him to participate in the survey. The survey ended on Feb. 11, 2004.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents reported that they are CIOs, and 24% reported that they are vice presidents or directors of IT. Sixteen percent identified themselves as vice presidents of IT, and 8% are chief technology officers. The remaining 23% hold business titles, with half of those reporting that they hold director- or manager-level titles.

Twenty-eight percent estimated that their companies will have 2004 annual revenue of $5 billion or greater. Twenty-six percent reported annual revenue of $1 billion to $4.9 billion, and 18% reported 2004 annual revenue of between $100 million and $499.9 million. Thirteen percent estimated that their companies will have 2004 annual revenue of $500 million to $1 billion. The remaining 15% reported revenue of less than $99 million.

Survey respondents work in a variety of industries, including 26% from the finance, insurance and real estate industry; 13% from the education field; 8% from the manufacturing industry (excluding computer equipment); 7% from the health and medical field; 6% from the transportation and logistics industry; and 5% from state or local government.

Thirty percent of respondents work at companies with 20,000 or more employees, and 25% work at companies with 1,000 to 4,999 employees. Twenty percent of the respondents reported that their companies employed 5,000 to 9,999 workers. – Mari Keefe, research manager


Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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