A survey commissioned by technology giant Hewlett-Packard has revealed that the current financial crisis has brought about an increased tendency for IT heads in the Asia Pacific to move away from the mainframe and outsource aspects of their enterprise IT operations. The survey covered 490 business and technology executives across the globe, between December 2008 and January 2009. More than 100 (128) respondents were from countries in the Asia Pacific, such as Australia, China, India, Japan and the Philippines.
Survey results showed that 29 per cent of the Asia Pacific respondents indicated they were likely to move away from the use of mainframes. This figure is higher than the 22 per cent result showed for the United States and Canada.
Reasons given for moving away from mainframes were mainly associated with the high costs associated with maintenance and licensing.
"Mainframes are more expensive than today's servers," said a respondent from the Asia Pacific.
"The mobility of mainframes is not satisfactory. Every movement would product extra significant expenses. Therefore, our company must control some unnecessary costs during the global economic downturn," said another respondent from the region.
Driver behind decision
Cost was also cited as a driver behind companies' decisions to outsource aspects of their IT operations. More than half (52 per cent) of respondents in the Asia Pacific found outsourcing to be an attractive option, given the current financial crisis, while just more than a third of respondents from North and Latin America found outsourcing attractive.
Other factors influencing the decision to outsource include the quality of service and solutions, increased flexibility, manageability, efficiency or projects which require specific skills.
"Owing to our insufficiency in technical strength, we need the help of outsourcing companies, and their resources, to complete some upgrading or optimising tasks," said an Asia Pacific respondent. "To us, outsourcing can save costs, and their technical strengths are higher as they have specific professions in specific fields, hence, their end-products or results are usually better than doing [it] ourselves."
Respondents from Europe and the Middle East registered the lowest interest in outsourcing, with only 30 per cent of respondents looking upon the concept favourably.
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