Businesses have lower expectations for IT budget increases and concern about supporting decentralized technology initiatives, according to a TEKsystems survey of 500 IT leaders.
The percentage of IT leaders who expect budget increases is at its lowest level since TEKsystems' first annual IT forecast survey for 2013.
Additionally, it appears that IT spending is moving beyond the control of the IT department with 58 percent of IT leaders expecting other functional areas to spend the most on technology in 2016.
"With three out of five IT leaders reporting that functional areas other than IT will spend the most on technology in 2016, one of the IT department's biggest challenges will be facilitating and supporting all of these other technology initiatives," TEKsystems research manager Jason Hayman told eWEEK. "For example, networking, system integration across BI platforms, and security—are all components that will require orchestration across the enterprise. It falls on the IT department to act as the hub of the system."
Hayman explained that, understandably, organizational alignment was cited as the biggest challenge for IT in 2016.
"In order for the decentralized system to work smoothly and efficiently, it will be critical to have a shared understanding of goals and clear communication between IT and the rest of the organization," he said. "IT professionals who understand the business side of the equation and can help move the department closer into alignment with lines of business will be big assets to their team."
For the first time in four years, IT leaders' confidence in IT's ability to meet overall organizational demands declined.
While more than seven out of 10 IT leaders express confidence in their ability to satisfy core IT demands, their lack of control over decentralized technology efforts appears to raise concerns regarding their ability to support line of business (LOB) demands and new initiatives.
"Overall confidence in IT's ability to support organizational objectives has dipped slightly for the first time in IT forecast history," Hayman noted. "Confidence in IT's ability to meet core IT demands is very healthy, indicating that IT's internal house is in order. But the line of sight may be limited to more keep the lights on types of demands since only about half of IT leaders are confident and nearly a quarter are unconfident in their ability to support new initiatives in 2016."
He said because of decentralized technology spending, IT has less control of which new initiatives are funded and when they happen, contributing to the uncertainty.