Research report: IT Economic Outlook

How are current economic conditions affecting IT spending plans? IDG surveyed IT leaders representing a wide range of vertical markets to find out.

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With the country experiencing its longest stretch of sustained economic growth in recent memory, organizations have had several years to invest in technology, increase staff size and pay, and continue on their digital transformation journeys. This may explain why IT budget growth shows signs of leveling off in 2019.

More than half of organizations (55 percent) plan to increase IT budgets in the next 12 months, compared to 57 percent that had committed to increased budgets in November 2018. At the same time, organizations holding IT budgets steady reached 32 percent in May, down from 34 percent in November. Only 7 percent of organizations plan to decrease IT budgets, the lowest number since IDG began conducting this survey in 2010.

What’s more, 79 percent of organizations have realized at least some cost savings over the last 12 months from IT efficiencies, and they’re planning to reinvest those dollars into technologies that increase customer satisfaction and engagement, improve security and support business goals.

How are current economic conditions affecting IT spending plans? IDG surveyed 152 IT leaders representing a wide range of vertical markets and with an average of 7,050 employees, to find out. The numbers also indicate that IT leaders are getting a better understanding of their needs and the expectations that come year over year. This consistency around expectations vs. reality helps IT leaders better prepare for their projects in terms of scope and numbers.

Upgrades and boards of directors drive budget shifts

The factors that caused last year’s IT budgets to shift included systems

With the country experiencing its longest stretch of sustained economic growth in recent memory, organizations have had several years to invest in technology, increase staff size and pay, and continue on their digital transformation journeys. This may explain why IT budget growth shows signs of leveling off in 2019.

More than half of organizations (55 percent) plan to increase IT budgets in the next 12 months, compared to 57 percent that had committed to increased budgets in November 2018. At the same time, organizations holding IT budgets steady reached 32 percent in May, down from 34 percent in November. Only 7 percent of organizations plan to decrease IT budgets, the lowest number since IDG began conducting this survey in 2010.

What’s more, 79 percent of organizations have realized at least some cost savings over the last 12 months from IT efficiencies, and they’re planning to reinvest those dollars into technologies that increase customer satisfaction and engagement, improve security and support business goals.

How are current economic conditions affecting IT spending plans? IDG surveyed 152 IT leaders representing a wide range of vertical markets and with an average of 7,050 employees, to find out. The numbers also indicate that IT leaders are getting a better understanding of their needs and the expectations that come year over year. This consistency around expectations vs. reality helps IT leaders better prepare for their projects in terms of scope and numbers.

Upgrades and boards of directors drive budget shifts

The factors that caused last year’s IT budgets to shift included systems upgrades/maintenance (40 percent), changes to IT project scope (29 percent), new mandates from executive management/Board of Directors (29 percent), and a change in the number of IT projects funded by lines of business (27 percent).

Taking these lessons learned, IT leaders are bracing for future budget shifts in many of these same areas, with 52 percent expecting more funds diverted to systems upgrades and maintenance, 38 percent seeing changes in the number of IT projects funded by lines of business, 35 percent foreseeing new mandates from executive management and the board, and 34 percent seeing budget shifts due to regulatory compliance requirements.

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Tech Poll: IT Economic Outlook IDG