Consulting » Cisco makes its marque

ImageTrak 2002, which indicates how IT and finance managers rate the impact of technology on UK business, and which analyses readers’ perceptions of leading IT brands, shows that technologies such as web services play an important part in shaping the development of IT within UK corporates.

The overriding concern among respondents was security, with 97% rating it as a priority. Remote access systems, which was rated important by 78% of respondents, and knowledge management, which was was important to 81% of Financial Director readers surveyed, also scored highly.

Technologies that have lost out in this year’s survey include personal digital assistants (PDAs), which were only considered very or fairly important by 37% of all respondents, and over-hyped technologies such as M-commerce (36%). Whether web services, which has been intensively hyped recently by companies such Microsoft, will fall into this category next year, remains to be seen.

Respondents were also asked to rate 40 IT vendors on their technology, and on how their brands are perceived in the context of various criteria such as reliability and support.

In general, hardware brands such as Cisco and AMD performed strongly, and those typically associated with heavy investment in research and development, such as HP, IBM and Sun were also seen as market leaders.

Cisco topped the table overall for brand satisfaction among IT and finance managers, with 81% of respondents choosing it. But, while IT managers singled-out Sun, AMD and IBM as top performers, finance managers were more favourable towards Intel and HP. In the services sector, ex-Big Five consultancies faired poorly, with IMB, HP and Compaq taking over the mantle of most trusted suppliers from Accenture and PwC Consulting after the recent spate of accounting scandals. Moreover, in telecoms, NTL’s debt problems have damaged its reputation.

In the software sector, IBM did well across the board, as did HP; and respondents felt they could rely on them for ease of integration.

Most other software vendors, including Oracle and SAP, posted below-par performances. CRM vendor Siebel came bottom. Only 33% of respondents rated the performance of its software as good, while it scored 28% on ease of integration and 43% for reliability. Bottom for reliability was Microsoft, with 37%.

Few vendors apart from IBM, HP and Cisco performed well across the board.

Dell, for example, was seen as providing best return on investment, but its after sales support was seen as mediocre. Ericsson and Orange, in contrast are seen as providing high-quality support but their technologies are considered difficult to integrate.