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CIOs influence the direction of the company in 78% of UK organisations

UK CIOs expect budgets to rise next year - more so than across the rest of Europe



High Wycombe, UK, April 23, 2002 - A recent survey of more than 50 senior IT professionals in the UK has revealed that purchasing decisions are most influenced by peers and that brand name is the least important consideration.


The surprise response may force vendors to reassess the millions that they spend on advertising. The survey was sponsored by BEA Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS), the world's leading application infrastructure software company and looked at organisations in the UK and across six other European countries.


"These results reinforce the widespread pragmatism among CIOs whose priority is that the technology they choose does what it says it does. This new realism suits BEA where our focus is on delivering workable, cost-effective solutions that integrate with existing software and maximise a company's IT investment," said Alan Banks, managing director, UK and Ireland, BEA Systems.


Spending - on the up?


Of the respondents in the UK, 44% were confident that their IT budgets will increase over the next twelve months, making the UK the joint highest when it comes to planned investment in IT with the Netherlands. Germany and Italy look to be the hardest hit during these economic times with less than a third (28% and 26%) confident their budgets will rise next year. Better customer service was cited as a major reason for investing in IT by 48% of UK respondents.


When asked to volunteer the most important issue facing the IT industry today, 22% of UK CIOs cited security as the most important issue, receiving 11 times as many votes as the next big worry - integration.


UK IT professionals say that they are dedicating most of their resources to web services (66%). When it comes to understanding market trends, tech leaders turn to their peers first, before seeing what others have to say. 46% of UK respondents gather background information on market trends from their peers.


Signs of an upturn?


Whilst the survey might be bad news for the big advertisers, for those looking for signs of an 'upturn', there was definite optimism among senior UK IT professionals. Solid majorities agreed that while mindful of the economy, their company was going full steam ahead to achieve its goals and gain competitive advantage from IT (80%). They also agreed that 2002 will be the year they focus on getting all the technology they have bought to work effectively together (62%).


The right buying decisions


CIOs are holding more and more influence when it comes to the company's overall strategy with 78% of respondents having either some or a great deal of impact on global decisions. Execution on IT strategy and vision has to succeed and buying decisions have to support the business need. The criteria for buying technology today revolve heavily around demonstrating fast ROI right across Europe with a third (30%) of all European CIOs citing this as the most important factor, closely followed by ease of integration with existing IT systems (29%).


Notes to Editors


The executive summary (attached) contains the full range of statistics and a tabulated version of the total survey is available on request. BEA spokespeople are available to discuss the results of the survey and its implications. Please contact the Weber Group for further information and interview requests. SWR Worldwide conducted this survey of 353 Chief Information Officers and Information Technology Directors in Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Interviews were conducted in February/March 2002.


About BEA


BEA Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) is the world's leading application infrastructure software company, with nearly 12,500 customers around the world, including the majority of the Fortune Global 500. BEA and its WebLogic(r) brand are among the most trusted names in business. Businesses built on the award-winning BEA WebLogic Enterprise PlatformÔ are reliable, highly scalable, and poised to bring new services to market quickly. BEA's platform is the de facto standard for more than 2,100 systems integrators, independent software vendors (ISVs) and application service providers (ASPs) to provide complete solutions that fast-track and future-proof businesses for high growth and profitability. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., BEA has 93 offices in 34 countries and is on the Web at http://www.bea.com .


BEA, BEA Tuxedo, BEA WebLogic, BEA WebLogic Enterprise, BEA WebLogic Enterprise Platform, BEA WebLogic Server, BEA WebLogic Integration, BEA WebLogic Portal and BEA WebLogic Workshop are trademarks or registered trademarks of BEA Systems, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the company with which they are associated.


Contacts:


Nadia Scully
BEA Systems Ltd.
+44 (0) 1494 5595008
nadia.scully@bea.com


Kina Kara / Natalie Harrison
The Weber Group
+44 (0)20 7544 3206
bea@webergroup.co.uk

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