Portable Operating Systems Rank First Among IT Needs
X/Open user survey shows applications, security close runners-up
Users rank portable operating systems, client/server applications,
and system and network security their three top priorities in
supporting business functions, according to preliminary results
of an annual open systems user survey taken by X/Open Co.
X/Open's Xtra 1994 World Survey was conducted in 41 nations and
eight languages. The survey received replies from 889 respondents,
each representing a company or major division of a company that
buys information technology. The survey participants were contacted
through 90 IT user groups such as the Amdahl User Group Europe,
the Cray User Group, and the Computer Society of South Africa.
X/Open conducts the survey to obtain information for its technical
programs but also makes the results available to the public.
A report on this year's survey will be available in September.
Full results will be presented at the X/Open Xtra World Congress
in Washington, D.C., Sept. 12-15.
Here is what the preliminary results show:
- Portable operating systems are considered "of utmost importance"
by 81 percent of respondents. Other technologies considered of
equal importance are client/server applications, 78 percent;
system and network security, 77 percent; integrated network management
tools, 70 percent; and integrated system management tools, 66
- Top technologies that will see large gains over the next
three years are integrated system management tools, database
management tools and integrated network management tools. While
29 percent said they now use integrated system management tools,
an additional 44 percent said they would begin to use them by
1997. Only 14 percent said they now use database management tools
but an additional 44 percent said they would be using them by
1997. For integrated network management tools, the figures were
38 percent now and an additional 41 percent by 1997. Distributed
databases ranked next with 30 percent now, and an additional
39 percent three years from now.
- Figures for budget planning show that 79 percent of those
responding expect their client/server applications budget to
increase in the next three years while none expect a decrease
in that budget. For their servers expenditures, 76 percent are
planning a higher budget by 1997 while only 1 percent expect
a decline. Network spending will increase in 75 percent of the
companies, but will decrease in only 1 percent. The budget for
mainframes, however, is expected to increase for only 6 percent,
but 42 percent said that the mainframes budget would decrease.
- In the recruitment area, experience with open systems was
considered the top-priority skill that the companies look for
in hiring IT staff members. Twenty-two percent ranked that factor
"of utmost importance" and 38 percent considered it "very important."
Communications skills was ranked next with 21 percent calling
it "of utmost importance" and 47 percent "very important." Customer
service skills ranked third and knowledge of in-house systems
ranked fourth, administration and planning fifth, and people
User group members throughout the world were surveyed but the
geographical distribution of the replies was controlled by those
willing to complete the survey form, according to an X/Open spokesperson.
As a result, 44 percent of the responses came from Europe, 24
percent from industrialized Asia, 18 percent from North America
and 14 percent from the rest of the world. Those from Asia in
particular "tend to be more willing to respond to surveys of
this type." said Jeff Hansen, X/Open's director of marketing
The average enterprise revenue of the companies responding is
$1.3 billion per year and the average external IT budget is $24
million. Fifty percent of the companies employ more than 1,000
persons. Twenty-four percent of those responding were senior
executives, 43 percent were IT managers and 18 percent were IT
technical support people.
For more information readers can call X/Open at (415) 323-7992.