Is IT getting predictable? IT confidence rises despite budget slowdown

Technology priorities seem to have settled into a predictable pattern: security, big data, mobile and cloud. Everyone seems to know the drill -- for now, a least.

Don't let the business side catch wind of this: IT budget growth will be tepid over the coming year, yet IT leaders are more convinced than ever they can deliver the goods to the business.

Photo: IBM Media Relations

That's the key takeaway from TEKsystems' Annual IT Forecast for 2015, which surveyed 500 IT executives on their hopes and dreams for the coming year and beyond.

Heading into 2015, 45 percent of IT leaders expected their IT budgets to increase, down from 62 percent anticipating growth a year ago. Another 40 percent expect to increase IT hiring, down from 47 percent in 2014. So the money tap has been turned down a couple of notches, no doubt reflecting the economic gloom hovering over Europe, India and China.

Still, technology executives aren't heading for the bunkers -- if anything, they're feeling relaxed and ready to take on the world. Seventy-one percent of IT leaders report confidence in their ability to satisfy business demands in 2015, representing an increase from 66 percent and 54 percent in forecasts for 2014 and 2013, respectively.

Even with the money slowing somewhat, what makes IT leaders so confident about the year ahead? It may be that things have finally gotten predictable. The great upheavals in IT may have subsided, and everyone knows the drill in terms of what businesses expect to see more of in the year ahead: security, big data analytics, mobile and cloud. And that's where a lot of the money is going.

Where spending is increasing from 2014 to 2015:

  • Security 65%
  • Mobile 54%
  • Cloud 53%
  • BI/big data 49%
  • Storage 46%
  • Legacy modernization 36%

Of course, what makes this industry interesting are the sudden new waves of technology that spring up. Nobody could have predicted the rise of Docker containers a year ago, for example. Big data wasn't even in the lexicon four years ago.

Skils demand also remains predictable, the TEKsystems survey finds. IT executives also identified the types of jobs most in demand this year at the organizations. Most are the same top-ranking skills categories seen in the 2013 and 2014 surveys, with one exception: business intelligence and big data analytics specialists, in the top five in 2013, slipped to sixth and seventh place this year:

  1. Programmers/developers
  2. Software engineers
  3. Architects
  4. Project managers
  5. Security specialists
  6. Business intelligence
  7. Big data analytics
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