December's IT Priorities findings show that software infrastructure has once again reclaimed the second place position from hardware upgrades (now at no. 3) while security also jumped up a spot to no. 4, pushing IT management to fifth place. Meanwhile, Wired and Wireless networking, the reigning leader for over the last two years closes out the year as the no. 1 priority, according to data from our monthly survey of approximately 500 IT and business professionals.
Looking at trends among the top software projects, current spending on ERP averaged 26% of enterprise software spending in the last 12 months, which is an increase from an average of 22% reported in November. Also last month, the data showed that a drop in ERP spending was predicted to account for 17% of enterprise software spending in the next 12 months, while that average now stands at 21% for 2006. Next year, CRM spending is expected to remain at an average of 14%, and directory services spending to increase to an average of 19%.
Over in hardware, server projects averaged about half (49%) of all hardware spending in the last 12 months, with 17% of spending on storage projects for the same time frame. As compared to the averages derived in the previous month, both types of hardware projects have remained relatively unchanged. Notable, is that spending on storage projects is expected to rise to an average of 24% for the coming year, which reflects the growing demand.
Elsewhere, security initiatives to counter cyber threats averaged 37% of security spending in the last 12 months. This figure is expected to decrease over the next 12 months, reaching an average of 24%, while authentication/encryption spending is expected to increase to an average of 24% of security spending for the coming year.
And in networking, VoIP projects (27%) lead spending in the last 12 months, with 22% of network spending focused on wireless / mobile solutions. Spending for VoIP solutions is expected to increase over the next 12 months, reaching an average of 29% for the coming year, while wireless/mobile projects are expected to climb to 31% of networking spending.
Below are the rankings of all nine IT priorities we track monthly:
1 - Wired & Wireless
2 - Software infrastructure
3 - Hardware upgrades
4 - Security
5 - IT management
6 - Web technology
7 - OS migration
8 - Application development
9 - Data management