IT budget growth hits four year high

Brief: Security and business intelligence applications are top of the agenda this year

IT budgets are expected to increase by an average of 2.5 percent this year, their biggest growth since 2001, according to a survey published by Gartner on Friday.

The survey, which incorporated the views of more than 1,300 CIOs worldwide, found that CIOs will focus their spending on security and business intelligence tools to tackle the issues of security breaches and business process improvement.

Other challenges in 2005 include the difficulty in finding the right employees. Only 39 percent of CIOs believe they have the right people to meet current and future business needs, said Gartner.

IT budgets increased by 1.4 percent in 2004, remained constant in 2003 and increased by 1.3 percent in 2002, according to the Gartner Executive Program, the unit of Gartner that carried out the research. This compares with growth rates of between 9.7 and 15.9 percent between 1998 and 2001.