Whether a company is dealing with legacy software or is preparing to run new software in the cloud, security is a serious concern, according to a 2013 Gartner report. Many organizations will look to beef up their security in 2014, as the global information network becomes more open than ever and business servers become more susceptible to third-party intrusion.
The report also found that that customer relationship management (CRM) has edged past enterprise resource planning (ERP) as the top application software investment priority.
Many organizations are looking to increase cloud spending. Around 60 percent of North American companies plan to increase their budgets to accommodate SaaS/public cloud services over the next two years. Companies in other regions showed more interest in hosted solutions. In either case, they will expect their ERP vendors to provide adequate security for their software and data.
For cloud hosting in particular, it will be important for cloud customers to be able to trust their service providers with their data. With any cloud service provider, customers should look for both physical and digital security features. They should also expect to receive some guarantees of service, such as a service-level agreement (SLA).
While cloud and security rank as the top two areas of enterprise spending in the coming year, virtualization is number three. Many companies will increase virtualization infrastructure (up to 70 percent), primarily through the purchase of software and/or software-defined servers.
Those companies that run on-premise ERP or CRM, private clouds or hosted cloud platforms (such as Windows Azure) will likely utilize virtualization technology to consolidate their applications and data onto fewer machines. Those making use of public cloud services, such as Microsoft Office 365, will take advantage of their service provider's virtualized systems.
More detailed analysis is available in the report "User Survey Analysis: Cloud and CRM Nexus Will Drive Enterprise Software Spending in 2013 and 2014" The report is available on Gartner's website at
By CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut Microsoft Dynamics Partner,