IT Budgets in Question for 2010

IT managers and technology professionals expect a little more coin in the IT piggy bank this year, reflecting a tad more optimism in business and job prospects for 2010, says one report. However, a different report shows IT workers can still expect the same pressures as 2009: cost reduction, return on investment and doing more with less.

It's the fourth quarter, and your CIO is working with your line of business management on budgets for next year. It's a long process, but it's an important one, since budgets equal three things: new toys for your projects, new co-workers to help on projects and the money to pay for it.
Nearly half of technology professionals polled in the "October Dice Report" expect their budget to expand "slightly" for 2010, while 29 percent expect a decrease and 22 percent see no new funds coming.
"When asked about budget allocations, technology professionals were almost evenly split between investing money into people and investing in technology. With 49 percent of respondents choosing to fund systems, projects or software, there is still a strong belief that proper investment in technology will help the bottom line of any business," said Dice spokesman Tom Silver in the report.
Here is how the question on using the budget broke down in the survey:
"If it were up to you, how would you allocate your company's IT budget?"

  • 26% Add staff
  • 25% Give everyone a raise
  • 25% New projects or systems
  • 15% Upgrade hardware
  • 9% Upgrade software

Cost-cutting, however, is still on the mind of most CIOs and senior leaders of technology.
When IT technology executives were polled by the Society for Information Management (SIM) earlier this year, business productivity and cost-cutting topped the list of priorities for 2009. Business intelligence applications topped the list for important technologies, followed by "server virtualization, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer/corporate portals, enterprise application integration/management (EAI/EAM), and continuity planning/disaster
recovery," as told in a SIM news release.
"The results of the study confirm that the economic downturn has caused a significant shift in priorities," said Jerry Luftman, former SIM vice president for Academic Community Affairs and executive director of Graduate Information Systems Programs and distinguished professor of Information Systems at Stevens Institute of Technology. "IT executives are focusing on ensuring that business is conducted efficiently to get more mileage out of their budgets."
SIM's own projections for next year's budget show a bit of the opposite from Dice: More than half see lower budgets, with only 25 percent seeing increases.