04 September 2003 | Robin Parker
Smaller firms lack a long-term vision for IT buying and are increasingly forced to outsource the function or use more local suppliers, a study has found.
IT is a "mishmash" at most small and medium-sized enterprises, said European Mid-Market Issues In Turbulent Times, from Datamonitor and Oracle.
Almost half of 474 European senior executives said their organisations were cutting back on IT to cope with tough economic pressures. As a result, IT buyers and managers spend more time dealing with ad hoc problems rather than helping companies to meet long-term goals.
Most said they had long been against outsourcing in principle, but were becoming forced to do it. Local suppliers were said to provide a cheap and responsive option, though in some cases this has led to even less of a homogeneous IT strategy.
The issue was pronounced at SMEs owned by larger companies, many of which were forced to use the parent firms' proprietary software.
· The report is available to download for free from www.oracle.com/start
by keying the password "SimplyBusiness".