Another budget priority area which is expected to receive increases is the need to expedite the storage systems to facilitate operations of these organizations. "We intend to add more storage space for our online storage and backup systems this year," said Quiat, explaining that "we started to implement a robust online and centralized file storage system for our users as the need for file sharing and collaboration (among users) are becoming relevant in our day-to-day operations.
Apart from this, Quiat also confirmed that they want to add more offsite backup outside of Manila. "Once this is completed, we are going to have two offsite backup systems in place," he said. "I think it is reasonable to have redundancy at all times, especially now that almost all of our transactions are in electronic form," he added.
On data networking, this year's third top priority project for most managers, Lucas believes that the installation of this technology is very significant nowadays for a firm to achieve operational efficiency.
"There is still room for improvement in this area in order for us to achieve optimization on our current operation," he said.
The need to replace aging and slower hardware is also another priority concern that is prompting local firms to open up their vaults this year. "We started installing brand new PCs, workstations, and servers two months ago as replacements for old ones that the company spends much on maintenance expenses," recounts Diaz He also noted that hardware replacement must be done to cope with the present software requirements of the company and to maximize users' efficiency.
With many organizations planning changes in major applications and operating systems, one area that is likely to receive a huge share of the IT budget this year is the deployment and development of new software.
Aside from hardware, Diaz disclosed that they are also installing Windows 7, Office 2010, and AutoCAD 2012 in their computing system. They have started email and data migration, and propose security and storage as their future IT projects. With regards network convergence, which is also a top concern, Lucas relayed that "improving this area will help us achieve better communication internally and most of all, with our clients especially those that are situated in other countries."
Meanwhile, with budget intended for increasing salaries of deserving IT employees, 64% of survey respondents granted a well deserved salary hike to their staff last year. For 36% of IT managers, however, implementing salary increases was not a priority. According to 46% of those who granted wage hike, the increase has no effect on their overall budget while 33% claimed the implementation of salary increases represented a corresponding increase in the IT budget. Increased labor or operating costs was the result of increasing compensation, according to eight percent of respondents.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.