Companies are not making drastic cuts to IT budgets, but the type of investment is changing in the economic downturn, according to enterprise software supplier SAP.
The demand is for fast implementation, quick return on investment and low cost of ownership, said Verlin Youd, senior vice-president for trading industries at SAP.
All IT investments are coming under closer scrutiny and IT chiefs need very strong business cases to get any projects approved.
Organisations are looking for "bite-sized" projects that meet specific business needs and have measurable returns, according to feedback from over 100 companies mainly in the retail sector, he said.
According to Youd, measurement of business benefit and returns has become more important and organisations are looking to get more out of existing investments. Many are not using all they have and are working with suppliers to exploit these systems more fully, he said. Retailers are concentrating on using IT to improve pricing strategies, to increase the efficiency of supply chains, and to enhance the shopper's experience.
The biggest emphasis is on retaining customers both online and in physical stores, said Youd. This includes managing staff to ensure the right number are available at particular times to meet changing demand.