IT spending growth forecast at 2%; but chaos is brewing underneath


According to a new report by IT research firm Computer Economics, the IT spending outlook for this year is 2 percent growth. "While still positive, the growth rate is slowing from the rate of improvement over the previous four years," say the researchers in that report. "Yet our outlook study also finds that IT capital spending appears ready to stage a comeback from its recessionary doldrums." Yes, but the dynamics at work behind that comeback staging is a little peculiar.

What the researchers found with this survey is that the greater IT group has a split personality. The biggest of the big organizations in Canada and the U.S. are hunkering down and keeping their IT budgets tight – while expecting more from IT. The SMBs, on the other hand, are all kinds of bullish and are prepping for an IT spending spree.

Sound familiar? Yes, of course. That's pretty much been the pattern for the last three years. Ask any vendor – they've all found themselves wooing SMBs harder lately because that's who is buying.

But it's not just a split between company sizes. It's a split in attitude too – between the 'invest for growth and market differentiation' and the 'cut our way to wealth' groups. As if cutting already-too-tight IT budgets can be anything but painful and occasionally debilitating.

So where does that leave investments in BI, big data, and analytics?

"Our IT budget is facing an expectation that it has to decrease," wrote a development manager with a large health insurer, according to the research report. "However, we fully understand that we have to invest in new areas, so cost-cutting measures will be taken in areas where they can be found."

So, yes, it appears that big data and analytics remains full steam ahead with or without an IT budget increase. Some companies may deal with that by assigning new expenditures in these areas to other departmental budgets, namely marketing.

The Computer Economics' researchers say "security will be a top priority and migration to the cloud ongoing" pretty much across the IT board. That too is an ongoing trend carried over from last year. Far too many companies were late to the security party, and not fashionably so. But at least they did straggle in eventually.

For more:
-See the report

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