Top IT Decision Makers Shortlist Grid as Strategic IT Investment For 2004, Says New Survey

Grid Escalates as IT Investment Priority; High ROI and Less Organizational Politics Cited as Key Reasons for Increase

LONDON, March 4, 2004 -- IDC's UTILITY, ON-DEMAND, GRID COMPUTING CONFERENCE -- New survey results released today by Platform Computing show that grid computing has emerged as the sixth highest IT investment priority for 2004, ahead of web services, ERP, telecommunications, CRM and outsourcing.

Platform surveyed over 100 IT decision makers from global organizations to identify IT investment priorities for 2004, and learned that grid computing has escalated as a high priority IT investment. Two key factors cited for this increase are expected return on investment (ROI) and less internal politics over grid ownership. The survey findings are the catalyst for a major Platform industry study on the "Economics of Grid", due out next month.

"Grid computing is a strategic IT investment because it is high return and low risk. With grid, IT decision makers should think big, yet start small by building a business case with one or a couple of grid-enabled applications or departments," said Ian Baird, Chief Business Architect, Platform Computing, at his keynote address to over 200 European CIOs at analyst firm IDC's first major European grid computing event. "This survey clearly shows that key decision makers believe grid computing is a critical technology for businesses, and is no longer relegated to the 'watch and wait' list. It's time to become familiar with grid technology, to stop watching and start doing. Don't get left behind."

A primary factor that impacted grid's ranking as a high priority IT investment is the perceived ROI of grid. Respondents gave grid computing the second-highest ranking for delivering anticipated ROI, ahead of other technology investments including outsourcing, security, hardware, data networks and storage, and bested only by e-business systems. This reinforces grid's ability to drive capital and operational costs down and improve profitability, while simultaneously improving service levels across the enterprise, accelerating application performance, and enabling companies to deploy applications faster.

The survey also found that grid investment has increased faster in organizations where politics are perceived as less of a barrier to deployment. In fact, 43% of respondents said that 'server-hugging' -- an unwillingness to share IT resources - has become less prohibitive than revealed in Platform's landmark 2003 grid computing study, "The Politics of Grid", which found that 89% of companies identified organizational politics as a key barrier to grid deployment.

"The fact that IT decision makers ranked grid computing as number six on their priority list, up from number eight last year, shows that grid is evolving rapidly beyond the 'silo-busting' and 'skunkworks' stage," said Platform's Baird. "We are seeing this increasing acceptance with our own global customer base across a variety of industries, particularly in finance and manufacturing. Businesses are budgeting for grid and evaluating how it makes sense for their business."

According to recent analyst reports, industry momentum for grid computing continues to build. Analyst firms expect grid to play an increasingly important role during the next three years, as more companies adopt grid computing technologies.

Notes to Editors

A total of 100 IT decision makers were surveyed, from companies spanning a variety of sectors, including financial services, government, electronics, healthcare, automotive/aerospace and utilities. Preview results are available at

About Platform

Platform Computing's intelligent, practical enterprise grid software solutions help organizations optimize IT resources to Accelerate Intelligence(TM). We plan, build, run and manage grids that link IT to core business objectives, and help our customers improve service levels, reduce costs and enhance business performance. With industry-leading partnerships and a strong commitment to standards, we are at the forefront of grid software development, propelling over 1,600 clients toward powerful insights that create real, tangible business value. For more please visit

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