Early Indications Show IT Budgets Unaffected by COVID-19 Crisis

eWEEK ANALYSIS: Market researcher and analyst Pulse collected data from IT leaders showing that even though preferences are changing, spending in itself remains robust among enterprises.


The COVID-19 outbreak has taken an enormous toll across the world, the effects of which we are yet to comprehend. In addition to the human tragedy unfolding across most regions, societies and economies are struggling to cope with major losses and outages.

IT departments around the world are now being called upon to ensure vital data and services remain in place even in a time of crisis. Vendors also express great concern that an economy in freefall will have severe effects on IT budgets.

To find out how much of an effect the economy has had on IT budgets, market researcher and analyst Pulse collected data from 100 IT leaders in a span of four days, suggesting that even though preferences are changing, spending in itself remains robust among organizations.

Data Point No. 1: Despite early indications of a reduction in budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pulse found the opposite to be true today.

  • 72% of IT leaders see their budgets increasing or remaining unchanged in the current economic crisis. 
  • Over 25% of IT leaders imagine the crisis will result in a 5-10% increase in budget.
  • 15% imagine the crisis will result in a 10% or higher increase in budget.

Data Point No. 2: The data suggests that many are now looking to spend more in the current climate, but IT leaders are prioritizing their spending across a variety of tools.

Pulse found that two areas of particular interest are around tools that allow for greater collaboration and security.

  • 17% of IT leaders said they were shifting their spend to internal communication and collaboration tools. 
  • 13% of IT leaders are spending on customer communication and collaboration tools.
  • 14% of IT leaders are looking to spend on VPNs. 
  • 10% are investing more in data security tools.

Data Point No. 3: Although a recession would typically impact spending, Pulse found that many IT leaders plan to make large purchases in the near future.

  • 36% still plan on making big purchases above $100,000 over the next six months.

Data Point No. 4: Decisions in this climate aren’t just a matter of top-down decision making.

Pulse found that IT leaders are making decisions based on several different factors and sources of input.

  • 64% of IT leaders are now making decisions through a combination of executive and end-user input when evaluating the IT needs of their organization.
  • Only 26% of decisions are being made just by executives.

Data Point No. 5: Many are expecting full-time jobs to be lost during this downturn in the economy, but Pulse found that IT leaders are more optimistic.

  • 43% of respondents said they planned to make no such cuts.
  • Another 32% were unsure what the next six months would bring and if cuts would follow.

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