IT Execs Rate Top Vendors

By David Aponovich

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When it comes to approving major IT investments, more and more C-level executives are taking an active role in the decision process - a major factor in getting projects and purchases approved.

The finding comes out of a survey of technology executives at large and medium-sized companies by Internet World magazine, which polled nearly 1,000 enterprise IT executives and managers about their spending plans, vendor preferences and other issues. More than half the respondents work for companies with more than $100 million in revenues.

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The survey found that IT spending will be higher this year than 2001 in a number of categories, led by server hardware and enterprise security. Other IT solutions areas where spending will increase are Web services and storage. About 40 percent of companies in the survey said their IT budgets have increased in 2002, despite the economic slowdown.

The finding that more C-level executives are involved in the IT purchasing process is a sign of the importance of getting early involvement and buy-in by business executives as a way to get projects approved and funded. According to the survey, 63 percent of CEOs, presidents, COOs, partners and owners give final purchase approval.

Phil Ripperger, Internet World's publisher, said, "Management's relationship to information technology has changed. Now used to achieve a much wider range of business imperatives, technology --particularly Internet-based technology-- has become a crucial component of every enterprise strategy, thus pushing the decision making process right up to the top of the corporate chain of command."

Internet World also surveyed IT decision makers on their vendor brand preferences across nine categories of products and services. Below is a list of the products/services categories, the top vendor pick in each, and the percentage of IT exsecs who cited the company:

David Aponovich is senior editor of CIN.