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With IT Spending Picking Up, What Projects Should You Be Investing In?

The good news on the economic front just keeps on coming. Following a report on a burgeoning IT services market, Gartner has announced a worldwide growth rate of 1.4% in overall IT spending. It says spending will top $3.5 trillion in 2017, well up the previous year.

"2017 is poised to be a rebound year in IT spending,” said John-David Lovelock, an analyst at Gartner. “Some major trends have converged, including cloud, blockchain, digital business and artificial intelligence."

The analyst firm noted that IT services would continue to have a higher annual growth rate than IT as a whole. Buyers are believed to be investing in areas such as digital business, intelligent automation, and services optimisation. Enterprise software is another area forecast to do well. In fact, it is showing a higher rate of expansion than IT services – though this market is half the size of IT services.

Not everything is rosy, however. Spending on devices and computers is flat. Similarly, data centre hardware spending is slowing almost no growth. Gartner researchers found that hardware spend by enterprises will be well down – but it is being propped up by accelerated spending on data centres and servers by large cloud providers.

Spending Wisely

Gartner expects spending on IT services to surge to an annual growth rate of almost 5% in 2018, and enterprise software to over 7%. That makes it a very good time to consider what kind of projects to invest in. Here are some of the options to consider:

.NET application development: Done correctly, the .NET platform can help enterprises realise their strategic technological and business ambitions. The key here is to capture and analyse business requirements to ensure that business processes are streamlined, efficient and flow logically.

SharePoint Server: SharePoint for Business Process Systems, Systems Integration and Surfacing of data from other systems are all key areas of investment. Additional areas to consider may be SharePoint Server configuration, system customisation, data migration, design and development, and the creation of new SharePoint features. This can include Single Web Front End (WFE), Multiple WFEs with a SQL Cluster for larger intranets, public websites configured inside a DMZ and the development of customized SharePoint applications.

SQL Server: As well as performance tuning, there are many important projects involving Microsoft SQL Server. These include configuration of active-passive and active-active clusters, migrating data into and out of SQL Server, migrations between versions, consolidating database instances and disaster recovery.

BizTalk Server: Important projects include connecting BizTalk to business applications. Further, it can be used to integrate disparate applications and heterogeneous data to deliver solutions such as: payment processing, supply chain management, business-to-business EDI, real-time decision making, and reporting. BizTalk implementations may also encompass: passing orders from an eCommerce site and updating stock levels to a legacy Warehouse Management System; transferring sales orders from a packaged CRM system to restock purchase orders in a packaged purchasing system; electronic procurement; and product catalogue management.

Ballard Chalmers designs, builds and integrates enterprise level applications using the Microsoft Application Platform. This includes bespoke .NET, BizTalk Server, SQL Server and SharePoint Server development. Get in touch for an initial no-charge informal discussion to find out how we can help you.

By Drew Robb, Contributor

 Drewrobb

Drew Robb is a freelance editor and writer, specialising in the Information Technology sector.

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Ballard Chalmers is one of the UK’s leading enterprise software engineering companies, specialising in development for the Microsoft Enterprise Application Platform. We are principally dedicated to software development and integration for the Microsoft Cloud, as well as on-premises and hybrid systems. Our expertise is in Microsoft .NET, SQL Server, BizTalk Server and SharePoint Server.

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