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    IT Departments Enhance Efficiency, Survey Finds

    Many companies are planning to expand their IT departments in the next few months, which a recent study by Juniper Networks and the Economist Intelligence Unit indicated will help make them more efficient.

    "Businesses still view the IT function in the traditional role of improving process efficiency," said Rozina Ali, deputy editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit. "However, to really take advantage of an increasingly digitized world, companies need to recognize the potential value of IT as a collaborative partner in identifying new opportunities."

    According to the survey of nearly 500 executives and high-level management worldwide, 42 percent of respondents reported that IT departments increase the efficiency of general processes, largely through innovative technology. In the next three years, the top investments are expected to be data analysis (33 percent of respondents), business process management (31 percent), cloud computing/virtualization (29 percent) and mobile device strategies (26 percent).

    Another recent survey by Robert Half Technology revealed that 92 percent of CIOs plan to maintain or increase their current staffing levels in the first quarter of 2013, including 17 percent who plan to expand their IT departments. Nearly half of respondents said they believe their companies will invest more in IT projects in the next three months.