Not only are customer-facing applications such as e-business/e-commerce and customer relationship management among the ones most often budgeted for by respondents overall, they're also the least likely to be cut entirely in the current economic climate. That only confirms the result that CIOs consider revenue-generating projects a top priority.
E-business/e-commerce was the number-one application for respondents overall, mentioned by 51 percent as being a specific budget line in their IT departments. That number rose to an impressive 63 percent among larger companies. Only 5 percent of all respondents said they'd been forced to eliminate their e-business/e-commerce initiatives so far this year, and none of the large-company respondents said they'd been forced to do so. Larger companies were also less likely than their small-company counterparts to either delay or reduce expenditures for e-business applications.
Similarly, only 5 percent of respondents said they'd been forced to eliminate their CRM projectswhich ranked as the fourth most important application in respondents' IT budgets this year. In fact, 10 percent of the respondents said they actually intend to increase CRM spending this year beyond their initial budget levels.
Although knowledge management was the fifth most important applications area (out of 11) in the CIOs' original budget plans, 25 percent of CIOs with knowledge management in their budgets said they'd already eliminated it from this year's revised plans. Enterprise-resource planning was the second most likely to be eliminated, cited by 12 percent of CIOs. And supply-chain management one of the least-cited applications areas in CIOs' current budgets was mentioned by 10 percent of those CIOs as a candidate to be cut if it was already allocated.