IT spending for 2015 anemic amid digital shift, says Gartner

Digital transformation is important for tech leaders, but don't expect any real budget increases to follow.

ORLANDO — Information technology budgets for 2015 are expected to expand about 1 percent from 2014 even as chief information officers recognize they have to invest in digital transformation projects, according to a Gartner survey.

Special Report: IT Budgeting 2015: Planning the Next Stage

Gartner's 2014 survey of 2,800 CIOs found that 79 percent of spending will be under their purview, up slightly from a year ago. The upshot: Spending on digital innovation will be funded outside of the IT budget.

That finding highlights how IT budgets are moving to the line of business leaders over CIOs.

Gartner's findings rhyme with the results from Tech Pro Research's recent survey, which highlighted stable but not spectacular budget growth as well as spending moving to other executives outside of IT. 


Given that budget vs. invest conundrum, CIOs are recognizing that their styles have to shift away from cautious easily-measurable projects to ones that focus less on costs and more on revenue generation. Among the key findings from Gartner:

  • 75 percent of CIOs say they need to adapt their leadership style in the next three years

  • 89 percent of CIOS said digitization of business has higher level of risk

  • 69 percent of CIOs say risk management isn't keeping up with digitization

  • 41 percent of CIOs report to the CEO. That percentage is one of the highest levels ever in Gartner's survey

  • CIOs are spending five percent more time on running the IT organization than in 2011. The takeaway is that CIOs need to delegate more and focus on bigger picture items.

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