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25% Of Companies Increasing IT Investments

More than 69% of respondents say their companies see at least half the expected value from their IT investments.

A challenging economic environment hasn't stopped more than one-fourth of companies from increasing their IT technology investments this year, according to survey results released Wednesday.

The Value Of IT Investments survey, by ISACA, a nonprofit association of IT professionals, found that more than 25% of companies are increasing IT investments in 2009. The survey of more than 500 U.S. IT professionals also found that just 16% of companies plan across-the-board cuts in IT spending. Fourteen percent of companies have frozen spending at current levels, according to the association, which represents IT governance, audit, and security professionals in 160 countries.

Robert Stroud, international VP of ISACA, said that many companies' leaders believe that IT can deliver tremendous business value, and they expect it.

"The survey shows that nearly 29% of companies are fully measuring the value of their investments in IT, and more than 50% are measuring value to some extent," he said in a statement released Wednesday. "Just five years ago, those numbers would have been significantly smaller."

More than 69% of respondents said their companies see at least 50% of the expected value from their IT investments. Some of the most commonly cited benefits are better customer service (31.2%), cost reduction (24.2%), and new or improved products and services (17.7%).

"IT has the power to add competitive advantage and significant business value, so it is critical to focus on those opportunities -- particularly in troubled economic times," Stroud said.

Eighty-two percent of companies measure value, but just under 52% have guidelines to choose the IT investments that will deliver the highest value, ISACA said. And about 34% of respondents said various departments share an understanding of what constitutes value.

"This statistic is alarming because organizations must have clear expectations and goals to be able to successfully measure results," Stroud said. "It is also a clear indication that more business involvement and accountability are needed when it comes to selecting IT investments and monitoring them through their life cycle."

Almost 47% of respondents said CIOs are responsible for optimizing returns on IT investments, and only 20% said that CEOs, CFOs, or boards are responsible.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis of what IT and corporate professionals are looking for in business optimization. Download the report here (registration required).

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