IT budgets vary depending on industry and geographical region, but one factor that remains constant is that the key drivers behind how technology is perceived and how much is invested can directly impact the bottom line.
Because of the importance of IT budgets, Tech Pro Research conducted a survey for the third year in a row to assess where budgets are at, and where they are going in the coming year. The survey also focused on the drivers, trends, priorities and concerns that are pushing IT budget development.
IT budgets will remain relatively flat in 2016, with 43 percent increasing budgets between 1-10 percent, another 16 percent reporting no change, and 14 percent decreasing budgets by 1-10 percent. However, another 23 percent plan to increase budgets between 11 percent to more than 20 percent, and only 5 percent are decreasing budgets between 11 percent to more than 20 percent.
Geographically, the most aggressive increases in IT spending are occurring in the Asia-Pacific region, where, as the report notes, "IT infrastructures continue to get built out in China and India; and in Africa, which is still comparatively underdeveloped, so would naturally reflect a greater percentage increase in IT budgets from year to year as the region begins to catch up to other areas of the world. Surprisingly, the US, a mature IT market, is closely keeping pace with Asia-Pacific and Africa in the percentage increase in IT budgets between 2015 and 2016. Meanwhile, IT budget growth in Canada, Europe and South and Central America is flat or lagging."
Initiatives being planned
The survey found that the IT initiatives being planned for next year closely correlate to IT budget and top priorities, with improving business operational efficiencies and tightening up security and governance leading the way. Lagging behind, but still of significance to IT, is an emphasis on training IT employees for the skills needed in the business. It seems that companies are more apt to invest in their own internal employees and steering away from outsourcing whenever possible.
The future of IT budgets
The survey and resulting report shows that companies now want greater flexibility with IT budgets, plus the ability to increase or decrease it as needed. This means that IT vendors can offer on-demand, by-subscription offerings, or capital offerings with financing plans, according to the report's findings.