Security a Priority in IT Budgets

IT spending may be having a less than stellar year, but some companies are increasing their budget allocations for security improvements. META Group predicts that security investments will increase, with 55 percent of companies spending 5 percent or more of their IT budget on security by the end of 2003.

Culled from a comprehensive report on IT spending among professionals in 34 countries, the 55 percent figure is a jump from November 2001, when META Group found that 67 percent of respondents spent 5 percent or less of their IT budget on security, and 33 percent spent 5 percent or more.

“After 9/11, IT security focused primarily on backup and recovery rather than implementing firewalls or authentication applications,” said META Group vice president and lead security analyst, Christian Byrnes. “Now, because of cyberterrorism threats, CIOs are investing in more protective security software like intrusion detection applications.”

An informal survey of 70 CIOs by META in May 2002 also indicated an expected 50 percent increase in spending for Web application development and security from 2001.

During mid-2002, Getronics and CIO Magazine interviewed 458 IT executives from the U.S. and six European countries (Germany, Italy, Spain, France, UK and the Netherlands) and found that security has a higher priority in Europe with 38 percent compared to 23 percent of U.S. executives rating it as a top-three priority.

Across all seven countries, the most cited IT spending priority through 2003 is security with 36 percent, moving it ahead of traditional technologies such as e-commerce (35 percent), CRM (33 percent) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) (31 percent).

While spending on security is seen as a priority at more than 20 percent of U.S. firms, it comes sixth behind CRM at 39 percent, e-commerce at 35 percent and ERP at 29 percent.

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