Companies are now spending 20.3 per cent of their IT budgets on e-business initiatives, with the biggest chunk of the spending being allocated to networking and infrastructure investments, according to a new report being released by Line 56 Media and A.T. Kearney, the consulting division of Electronic Data Systems (EDS).
The US study, which is based on a survey of 150 IT executives at companies with more than $US250 million in annual revenue, reveals that companies are each spending an average of $US16.4 million this year on e-business networking and infrastructure enhancements. Meanwhile, an average of $US15.2 million is being earmarked for e-business applications such as ERP and CRM systems, while another $US11 million is being set aside for e-business tools.
Despite the hype surrounding mobile applications and Web services, traditional e-business applications continue to garner the bulk of expenditures. ERP spending this year ranks first among the companies surveyed, with $US3.2 million in spending planned for 2003. Planned investments in portals ranked second at $US2.7 million, with spending on supply chain management systems and CRM systems close behind at $US2.5 million each.
The bulk of spending on e-business networking and infrastructure is being directed at e-business server hardware ($US3.3 million) and software ($US2.3 million).
E-business spending is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2004, and companies that are allocating more than 20 per cent of their annual IT budgets on e-business spending are anticipating even higher growth. In 2001, companies spent 17.5 per cent of their IT budgets on e-business activities; that figure rose to 19.3 per cent last year.
Eighty per cent of the survey respondents work at companies with revenues of $US1 billion to $US5 billion or more. Companies represented in the survey have an average of 190 business units and an average annual IT budget of $US201 million.
Respondents to the Line 56/A.T. Kearney survey outsource an average of 23 per cent of their IT activities.