Three quarters of UK companies expect to move toward ‘next generation’ IT infrastructures within three years, according to a Cisco study. The TechWatch 2013 report claimed technology trends, such as bring your own device (BYOD), big data and cloud computing, were creating challenges for businesses’ infrastructures. It said IT departments were also coming under pressure from more demanding end users. However, it added there was a need to manage investments alongside cost cutting.

The networking firm said reducing overall IT costs and improving the IT infrastructure were both ranked as a primary focus by 56% of SMEs for the next 12 months – closely followed by improving IT security (55%).

Ian Foddering, CTO Cisco UK, said: “The research shows us that whilst cost-cutting and reducing complexity is important, creating an environment where IT can support – or indeed drive – innovation within the business is paramount. The IT department is more crucial now to future development than ever before.

“Three key pillars emerge: ‘Simplify’, ‘Protect’ and ‘Change & Grow’. Get the first two right, and you pave the way for innovation, greater connectivity, next generation workspaces and ultimately a shift towards the ‘Internet of Everything’.”

The report added that organisations are likely to have already reviewed, or are planning to review, operational simplicity (89%) and operational savings (87%) this year.