Defense companies happy with IT in their business, survey finds

More than three quarters of aerospace and defense industry company officials say their IT and business strategies are either well or very well aligned, according to a survey by Computer Sciences Corp.

Those same companies expressed a significantly higher overall satisfaction with their IT investments, according to the third annual Aerospace and Defense Industry Survey, done in association with Aerospace Industry Association and Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine.

Leader of the Aerospace and Defense practice for CSC's consulting group Pete Wiese said he was surprised to learn that the overwhelming number of respondents said they are getting the value they expected from their IT spending.

"Last year when we asked 'Do you see a value for your IT investment?' about 70 percent said, 'No, we're not seeing a value,'" Wiese said. "This year is almost a complete flip, about 70 percent did see value."

Wiese attributes the turnaround to companies tightening spending and being more mindful of how they spend their IT dollars.

This year's survey focused less on IT issues and more on "the issues that keep CEOs awake at night," Wiese said.

Among those issues is the admitted failure by most companies to devise a plan for adhering to upcoming federal requirements to initiate use of radio frequency identification (RFID). The survey found that companies are aware of the requirement and have at least initiated talks about it.

Companies indicated they do not expect reporting requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to be burdensome.

"It's quite amazing because there are lots of expenses associated with that," Wiese said. "Companies said the impact is a non-issue, and they believe they have it under control."

Companies are expected to spend $5.8 billion to meet Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements, according to an AMR Research study released last week. As of Monday, companies must document, control and secure business processes that directly and materially contribute to their reported financial results. AMR estimates 28 percent of the Sarbanes-Oxley spending will be on technology.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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