CIOs See Robust New Project IT Spending For 2005 - InformationWeek

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12/9/2004
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CIOs See Robust New Project IT Spending For 2005

Several CIOs on Thursday told attendees at the Raymond James IT Supply Chain Conference in New York that they expect vibrant spending for new IT projects next year.

Several CIOs on Thursday told attendees at the Raymond James IT Supply Chain Conference in New York that they expect vibrant spending for new IT projects next year.

Michael Jones, senior vice president and CIO at Circuit City Stores, said the $10 billion retailer plans to spend a significant amount of IT dollars on new POS systems for 600 stores. The company also is moving forward with an enterprise data warehouse project.

Jones said the spending needle is rising in response to "the needs and demands of the organization."

Todd Thompson, vice president of information technology at Jet Blue Airways, said he expects as much as 75 percent of his company's nearly $50 million IT budget to be on new projects. "We don't have a legacy base to maintain," he said.

Unlike some other airlines, Jet Blue continues to invest in customer-facing technology projects, including self-service kiosks, Thompson said.

The CIOs' upbeat mood was echoed by top IT distribution executives at the conference.

"The IT market is stronger than we have seen it for some time," said Kent Foster, chairman and CEO of Ingram Micro. "I would generally characterize [the technology market] around the world as strong."

Among the areas where CIOs expect to see spending increases next year are storage and security. Further down the road, tech segments such as RFID will be a bigger factor, they said.

As far as the impact of Linux, Jones said the open-source operating system has definitely caught the eye of Circuit City. In fact, the company's massive sales project will include Linux rather than Microsoft Windows XP Embedded, he noted.

Thompson said Jet Blue has a very close relationship with Microsoft but is taking advantage of some open-source technology.

Circuit City also is taking a forward-looking view with its IT dollars by reserving more funds for innovation leading to improved customer experiences, Jones said. For example, he expects customers soon will be able to use biometrics technology to pay by touch.

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