Dataquest finds heavy services spending

Corporate IT organizations continue to spend money on external hardware and software support services even as many enterprises cut back on some technology purchases, according to a survey by Gartner Inc. unit Dataquest Inc.

A Dataquest survey of more than 250 organizations in January found that 52 percent of them expect to increase spending on external hardware support services and 63 percent expect to increase what they spend on external software support services between 2001 and 2003. The average two-year budget increase for those sites was projected to be 28 percent for hardware support and 27 percent for software support services. Only 13 percent of organizations said they planned to decrease spending on external hardware support and 5 percent on software support.

"This indicates a very healthy sustained opportunity for infrastructure support providers," said Eric Rocco, a Dataquest vice president. "Despite a downturn in IT capital asset spending, users still need to support the assets they have installed. This trend makes the support industry relatively recession-proof."

Seventy percent of 177 respondents said they have used Internet-based support services, continuing a two-year trend by IT organizations in that direction. The usage varies slightly by the size of organization. Dataquest analysts said the participation rate for Internet-based support services and a satisfactory answer rate are low given the investment by vendors in this technology. The respondents reported that they received a satisfactory answer 52 percent of the time when they used Internet-based support services.

"Vendors must focus on increasing the awareness of Internet-based service offerings and improve the satisfaction rate for answers to technical problems," said Senior Analyst Bob Igou.

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.