Spiceworks 2017 Report Shows IT Pros Keeping a Tight Rein on Spending

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Spiceworks 2017 Report Shows IT Pros Keeping a Tight Rein on Spending

Spiceworks' annual State of IT report offers a look into the health of the industry and the outlook for 2017. Here are 10 key findings.

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Don't Expect Spending to Budge

IT professionals don't expect to spend much more money on IT hardware, software and services next year. In fact, they noted that, on average, they'll spend $294,081 on IT hardware, software and services in 2017, up slightly from the $293,093 the average company is spending this year. The budgets won't grow significantly even though 60 percent of respondents said corporate revenue should grow in 2017.

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Staffing Will Remain Static, Too

IT professionals are expecting to do more with fewer resources than they might like, according to the survey. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said that IT staff will remain at about the same levels as in 2016. Just 30 percent will hire additional staff and 4 percent said they plan to lay off some employees in the new year.

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'How Budgets Will Be Allocated

Although the total amount companies will spend won't change in 2017, how they spend that cash will. For instance, hardware projects will take up 35 percent of total spending in 2017, compared with 37 percent in 2016. Software projects also will eat up a smaller share, landing at 29 percent of total spending against 31 percent this year. But it's cloud computing services that will see the biggest gains in 2017, accounting for 17 percent of total spending, compared with 14 percent in 2016.

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A Look at Hardware Spending

Drilling down in each company's hardware budget, Spiceworks found that 18 percent of the amount companies spend will go toward desktops. Another 17 percent of the hardware spend will be dedicated to servers, along with 16 percent to laptops. Tablet spending will remain static at 6 percent of total hardware spending next year.

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A Look at Software Spending

IT professionals estimated that they will spend 15 percent of software budgets on virtualization software. About 13 percent of their software budgets will be allocated to productivity apps, and another 13 percent will go to operating systems. Just 9 percent of a company's total software spending will be dedicated to data backup and disaster recovery.

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Cloud Computing Investments Come Into Focus

As noted, the cloud will be extremely important to companies next year. However, 19 percent of the total cloud budget will go to a relatively old cloud technology, such as email hosting. Meanwhile, 14 percent of companies say they'll spend cloud cash on online backup and recovery, and 9 percent of their budgets will go toward productivity application. Another 5 percent of total cloud spending will be used for hosted VOIP.

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IT Priorities That Will Drive Spending

Some of the same factors are prompting companies to spend money next year. Chief among them is end of life, which is driving spending in 70 percent of cases, according to IT professionals. In nearly two-thirds of cases, growth and additional need are prompting a boost in spending, and 59 percent say upgrades and technology-refresh cycles are the reasons they're spending in 2017.

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IT Professionals Worry About Political Climate

Concern about global politics is weighing heavily on the average IT professional. About half the respondents said global political instability will get them to think more seriously about where to store their data in 2017. A full 37 percent of IT professionals added that political instability also makes them question what countries they should do business with. More than a quarter of the respondents said the global political instability causes them to modify their IT policies and procedures.

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IT Professionals Pick Their Most Innovative Brands

There are many companies competing for a share of enterprise IT budgets, but IT professionals believe only a handful are innovative, the survey shows. Google was voted the most innovative tech company for 2017, earning 49 percent of the vote. It was followed by Amazon and Microsoft, with 34 percent and 21 percent vote share, respectively. Interestingly, Apple, a company that has become synonymous with innovation, could only muster 16 percent of the votes for next year's most innovative companies.

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The Technologies Causing Concern

Looking ahead, a whopping 79 percent of IT professionals say security will be an important concern well into the future. Nearly as many—71 percent—say networking will be cause for concern in the years to come. While 60 percent and 62 percent say hardware and software, respectively, are of concern now, those figures drop to 57 percent and 59 percent as IT professionals look to the future. Finally, 23 percent of IT professionals said mobile technology and systems to support bring-your-own-device policies are important today, but 35 percent said it would be important in the future.

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