Security Fears, Increased e-Business Investment Top Survey of IT Pros; Network World Study Also Reveals Significant Growth in Handheld Devices and Major Concerns With Storage

SOUTHBOROUGH, MA – APRIL 2, 2001 – The industry-acclaimed Network World 500 study was released today, revealing the top networking trends of 2001. The key results of the 2001 study reveal that investment in e-business will sky rocket over the next few years, averaging $68 million among those organizations conducting e-business. Microsoft topped the list as one of the three software providers critical to building e-business infrastructure, followed by Oracle and IBM. Other important findings include the prevalence of handheld devices in corporate America and the unabated demand for storage due to e-business applications and increased Internet and e-mail usage.


Security, however, was the one important "hot button" issue that emerged in this year's study. Whether related to security of e-business information, policies regarding security of data on handheld devices, or selecting an application service provider (ASP), IT professionals said that security issues are what "keep them up at night" when thinking about managing their organization's networks. Almost every respondent in the study is worried that it is getting harder to secure their applications.

More than 90% of the respondents said that strong security is key to their success in e-business. More than two-thirds said their e-business systems are vulnerable to security breaches and 80% are concerned that their firewalls and security devices are being overwhelmed by growing traffic over the Internet.

"It's not surprising that security is front-and-center in the minds of technology professionals, given the number of attacks on high-visibility web sites and companies. When entities such as Microsoft and the U.S. government report computing break-ins, as they did in the past year, everyone takes notice. The spread of even relatively harmless but time-consuming viruses further reminds us of our vulnerabilities," commented Evilee Thibeault, CEO and Publisher of Network World.

The growing number of handheld devices in corporations has IT professionals concerned about the corporate information stored on these devices. Organizations plan to purchase an average of 1,300 units this year and nearly 80% of handheld devices in the next two years will be tied into enterprise networks, driving issues of access, security and asset management.

The explosion in demand for storage capabilities also has IT professionals worried. More than half of the respondents said their storage data needs will grow by more than 75% in the next two years, with average spending of $7.1 million in the next 12 months alone. Nearly 60% said they use or plan to use storage area networks (SANs) to handle the vast amount of data being generated by enterprise applications, data warehouses, and especially, e-business.

This year's study also examined other network technologies including wireless services, mobile workers, WAN services, Web Infrastructure, and outsourcing. The Network World 500 study was conducted jointly by Network World and Research Concepts, LLC, in November 2000. The study focused on the leading technology and management issues facing network IT professionals. A total of 500 leading networking organizations in the U.S. were surveyed, each with at least 1000 employees, multiple sites with internetworked LANs and WANs, and annual networking-related expenditures of more than $10 million. A copy of the Network World 500 Study can be ordered at:

About Network World

Network World, Inc., the Leader in Network Knowledge, empowers Network Leaders and enables e-business through education, information and community. Network World is the leading provider of news, analysis, reviews, events and education on information technology. Network World publishes the leading newsweekly, Network World, hosts the most active online community, Network World Fusion (http://www.nwfusion), and produces educational seminars and events worldwide.

About International Data Group

Network World, Inc. is a division of IDG , the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company. IDG publishes more than 300 magazines and newspapers and 4,000 book titles and offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through IDG . net (, which comprises more than 270 targeted Web sites in 70 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related expositions worldwide, and provides IT market analysis through 50 offices in 43 countries worldwide. Company information is available at