July 14, 2009 - Organizations this year are focused on growth, but impact of economic challenges is reflected in the priorities set. Respondents of Aberdeen Group’s 2009 State of the Market report cited organic revenue growth, profitability/margin growth, cost reduction, increased market share, sustainability as high priorities. 
Eighty-four percent of respondents cited economic conditions as one of the top three challenges for 2009. This is a sharp change from last year, when only 24 percent of respondents in the survey recognized economic conditions as a top obstacle. Other challenges identified this year include market volatility (51%) and execution of strategy (45%).
The challenges with execution of strategy and increasingly more demanding business environment in 2009 were apparent in the responses; improving business execution was far and a way the number one frequently cited strategic initiative (54%) followed by creating or expanding  sales channels (43%) and developing strategic partnerships (39%).
The main drivers for technology investment have remained relatively consistent over the past 3 years, with system hardware and enterprise applications topping the list. Compared to 2008, there is a growing momentum toward adoption of technologies such as business process management tools and communications technologies such as VoIP and Unified Communications. Significant growth is expected in the usage of cloud computing (21 percent planned adoption) as well as high expected future adoption rates of other technologies that promise to enable collaboration and business efficiency  such as service-oriented architecture (17%) and business process management (16%). 
Aberdeen suggests that these trends were impacted by an environment of inconsistent budgetary support. Thirty-six percent of respondents reported that their 2009 technology budgets increased compared to 2008, while 35 percent reported no change and 30 percent experienced a budget decrease.
Most organizations agree that an area where they come up short is knowledge and visibility into their own operations. Thus, BI remains a top planned investment in 2009 as well as the greatest source of business impact. The next two technologies with greatest perceived impact over the next two to five years are enterprise application enhancements/extensions and software as a service.
“Investment in BI for 2009 is being driven by traditional business requirements, especially during a down economy when new sales are scarce and cost controls are critical”, states David Hatch, vice president of technology Research at Aberdeen. “However, green IT and sustainability initiatives are proving to be the most prominent new catalyst of BI deployments. As companies are facing environmental regulations and related reporting requirements, the risk of non-compliance is driving an entirely new style of performance management aimed at measuring both the environmental and business benefits of a Green and sustainable strategy.”
For more information on the State of the Market report, visit http://resources.aberdeen.com/2009AberdeenReport.

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