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A recent survey from SWC Technology Partners looked at the technologies, strategies and tactics generating the biggest impact for mid-market companies, as well as less vital projects those companies are putting off until next year.
When asked about staffing, the number of respondents who said they are looking to boost application development in staffing levels was 13 percent higher than last year, while the number turning to outsourcing was 6 percent higher than last year.
“These figures may reflect a trend to outsource these functions to a third party through managed services,” the report notes, adding that at the same time, all categories surveyed saw a net decrease in internal staff.
Among employers who had to make cuts, 13 percent said those cuts came in the form of IT staff reductions, while others chose to cut network management and e-mail management positions. The report further found that 40 percent of the organizations surveyed are dependent on one individual for their systems knowledge and expertise, while only 8 percent of respondents have never depended on only one individual for such knowledge.
About 55 percent of respondents said that security is their highest technology priority. This result was surprising, as security projects usually have little to no impact on generating revenue or creating operational efficiencies.
“This may reflect the fact that IT managers are focusing their limited resources on crucial areas that cannot be compromised, or it may be that this category has been neglected during the recession and managers fear the consequences of such neglect,” the report notes.
About 38 percent of respondents said business intelligence is their second-highest priority, followed by storage, Web development and LAN/WAN infrastructure. When asked what offered the greatest bang for its buck, 109 respondents answered virtualization, while 97 respondents said collaboration and document sharing and 90 respondents said Web development.
When looking ahead to next year, about 51 percent of respondents said they have a “cautiously optimistic” business outlook. However, 8 percent of respondents said they have a “pessimistic” business outlook, while 3 percent said they have a “highly pessimistic” business outlook.
The survey was given to 170 IT and business-line managers from organizations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. Companies included covered the manufacturing, retail, education, construction, healthcare and accounting industries, as well as nonprofits. More than half of the respondents manage between 100 and 2,000 users.
Even though the survey specifically targeted mid-market companies, the results reflect the staffing needs and business outlook of companies of all sizes throughout every market in every corner of the country.
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