Gartner Dataquest Says Security is Top IT Priority for Manufacturing Industry in 2003

Symposium/ITxpo 2003

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 18, 2003--Security is the most critical IT priority in the manufacturing vertical market in 2003, according to a survey by Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) and (NYSE: ITB).

From December 2002 through January 2003, Gartner Dataquest conducted an e-mail survey of 35 manufacturing IT decision makers in the United States to identify the industry's key business issues, technology drivers and IT spending priorities.

The respondents were asked to rank the importance of a list of IT projects for their organization. Manufacturers rated security as the most important IT project, followed by ERP (including upgrades and extensions). The IT priority that came in No. 3 was Web services.

"Security is top-of-mind today because of a number of business, competitive and environmental factors. According to the survey results, manufacturers anticipate the government to issue regulations that would require more stringent IT security. Whether or not this expectation will become a reality is still uncertain," said Geraldine Cruz, senior analyst for Gartner Dataquest's IT Services group. "In addition to regulations, the threat of war could spur some manufacturers, such as aerospace and defense manufacturers and those with significant government contracts, to fortify the security of their IT systems.

"On the business front, trading partners are increasingly demanding manufacturers to demonstrate the security of information systems before the partners share data and transactions," Cruz said. "Manufacturers also have a personal interest in securing trade secrets, intellectual property and operational data that, if compromised, could undermine their competitive advantage in the industry."

Gartner Dataquest analysts said that going forward, security issues might not be confined to pure security projects. As the manufacturing industry links internal functional and business units with global trading partners, security could play a larger role in a number of enterprise applications and technology deployments, including supply chain, customer relationship management and Web services projects.

Return on investment (ROI) and other metrics of project success will need to shift from benefits delivered to risks or cost avoided. This will entail more sophisticated, business-specific measurement techniques than just a comparison of security benefits achieved vs. investments made.

If manufacturers do not implement formal enterprise risk management techniques to select and deploy security technologies equal to the risks, Gartner Dataquest analysts said they may end up investing because of fear, uncertainty or the compulsion to keep up with what peers are doing.

"Just like with other hot applications and technologies of the past, manufacturers may over-invest and not enjoy true risk management benefits," said Cruz. "Because metrics are not easily measured, manufacturers may continue to invest until their budgets are overtaxed or until the industry loses interest or becomes more complaisant."

The manufacturing vertical includes discrete (auto, high tech, industrial equipment) and process (chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food/beverage, paper/pulp) manufacturing.

Additional information is available in the Gartner Dataquest report "Security Tops List of IT Priorities in Manufacturing in 2003." The report looks at the industry's key business issues, technology drivers and IT spending priorities. This report can be purchased on Gartner's Web site at

Gartner will provide additional analysis on the top IT priorities of enterprises at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2003, to be held March 23-27 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the IT industry's largest and most strategic conference, providing business leaders with a look today at the future of IT. For more details, please visit or call 1-800-778-1997. Member of the media can register for the event by contacting Maria DiMasi at 212-699-2734 or by e-mail at Email Contact.

Gartner Dataquest, a unit of Gartner, Inc., is the recognized leader in providing the high-technology and financial communities with market intelligence for the semiconductor, computer systems and peripherals, communications, document management, software, and services sectors of the global information technology industry.

Gartner, Inc. is a research and advisory firm that helps more than 10,500 clients leverage technology to achieve business success. Gartner's businesses consist of Research, Consulting, Measurement, Events and Executive Programs. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and has 4,000 associates, including more than 1,000 research analysts and consultants, in more than 75 locations worldwide. Fiscal 2002 revenue totaled $907 million. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Gartner Dataquest, San Jose 
             Christy Pettey, 408/468-8312
Email Contact

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