U.S. Companies Preparing for Economic Recovery in First Half of 2010

New study finds that IT executives under pressure to deliver ROI in half the time

In an AT&T study entitled, "Road to Growth," IT executives are looking to the first half of 2010 as a period of economy recovery.

More than half of U.S. IT executives interviewed stated they are under pressure to deliver a return on investment (ROI) in half or less than half the time. As a result, two-thirds cited that the change has affected their IT budgets, strategies and priorities.

The study also found that companies are less willing to invest in longer-term projects or projects where the return does not come quickly. One CIO stated that the added pressure has forced the company to focus on IT projects that give at least 100% ROI in 12 months; otherwise, the project(s) get dropped.

Cost cutting and increasing revenue remain the two primary business goals cited by U.S. companies. To achieve the goals, survive the recession and move towards growth, IT strategies are focused on:

  • Reducing operating costs: 87% cited "reducing operating costs" as "extremely or very important"
  • Improve collaboration with customer and partners: 85% cited "improved collaboration with customers and partners" as "extremely or very important"
  • Enhancing workforce performance and productivity: 83% cited "enhancing workforce performance" as "extremely or very important"

"From the study, we expect U.S. companies to come out of the recession leaner and more agile. Technologies that cut cost, reduce redundancies and loss, and improve efficiencies top the priorities list," said Bill Archer, chief marketing officer, AT&T Business Solutions.

Companies are not distinguishing between short-term and long-term strategies. They are reducing the time period for their long-term forecasting until after the recession is over.

The study found that "business continuity and security solutions" will have the biggest positive impact on business growth as U.S. companies prepare for an economic turnaround. This is closely followed by "enterprise mobility solutions" and "Web delivery solutions." Areas of IT investment that are expected to have a high to moderate impact on businesses are "unified communications services" and "hosted solutions."

The European portion of the Road to Growth study found that in contrast to the U.S., European executives have a consensus view that the global economy will rebound between Q1 and Q4 2010. The majority of executives expect a recovery towards mid to the end of 2010. Additionally, 50% of the European executives stated that there is no change in the time period with which they achieve ROI.

The consensus between European and U.S. IT executives is that the two largest global economies -- the United States and China -- will emerge first from the current recession.

To view the study visit http://www.att.com/roadtogrowth.

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