Increasing IT budgets and regulatory compliance were two of the critical issues on the minds of senior business and technology executives attending Forrester Research, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: FORR) GigaWorld IT Forum ending today in Orlando. While offshore outsourcing and security-related sessions were predictably well attended, attendees also flocked to sessions addressing IT spending and governance, ranging from how to develop the right IT organization and make the right IT investments to how to comply with a multitude of regulations.

The eighth annual event attracted more than 700 attendees to the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes. The 15 percent increase — compared with last year’s attendance — can be attributed to the more positive economic outlook and constantly changing IT landscape.

The popular sessions echoed Forrester’s recent Business Technographics­ surveys of more than 1,600 technology decision-makers, which found that although IT budgets have opened up, IT execs are still being challenged to prove the business value of their IT investments. The session entitled “Benchmark: Top Priorities For IT In 2004” discussed what these priorities mean for IT spending this year and beyond, how those decisions are being made, and the benchmarks that IT executives should really use to gauge their success.

“As the economy continues to improve and IT budgets are opening up, we have had more inquiries from our clients about how to leverage existing IT investments while planning for future IT and business trends,” said Daniel Mahoney, Senior Vice President, North American Research at Forrester. “GigaWorld provides an important venue for IT and business executives to learn how to achieve strategic objectives while improving ROI, whether it’s in sessions, individual meetings with Forrester analysts, or through networking with their peers.”

The following industry keynote addresses provided an additional perspective on future business and technology trends to help attendees make informed IT decisions:

  • Anne M. Mulcahy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox — shared insights into a new world of IT that focuses on information content rather than technology.
  • Robert LeBlanc, General Manager, Tivoli Software, IBM Software Group — addressed the need for flexible and optimal resources to effectively drive down costs and deliver business value.
  • Andy Mullins, President and Chief Operating Officer, Candle — outlined pragmatic steps to optimize results by consistently aligning IT assets and business goals.

Next year’s GigaWorld IT Forum will take place May 2-5, 2005, at the Gaylord Texan Hotel, in Dallas, Texas. More information is available at