Mobile, Cloud to Drive IT Spending in 2013

To execute on projects aligned with the growing budgets, IT headcount and IT compensation will increase or remain the same in the coming year

As 2013 approaches, half of IT heads anticipate that their IT budget will increase in the coming year and the outlook is more encouraging for enterprise organizations (1,000+ employees), according to the CIO Tech Poll: Economic Outlook results for November 2012.

While spending in many technology areas is forecast to remain flat, especially for small and midsize business (SMB) organizations (fewer than 1,000 employees), mobile and wireless, outsourced IT services (including cloud) and applications had the largest number of respondents increasing budgets since April 2012. The study is conducted twice a year among heads of IT to gauge technology areas that are the focus of IT in the coming year and to measure the direction of spending within those areas.

The majority of IT leaders (70 percent) said they believe that organizations that implement tablets are significantly/somewhat more likely to also adopt edge technologies (cloud, social, mobile) sooner than organizations not adopting tablets. Over the next year, top business priorities include overall revenue growth (81 percent), addressing the rising expectations of customers (78 percent), acquiring and retaining customers (72 percent) and improving the quality of products and services (71 percent).

Mobile and wireless (56 percent), applications (52 percent), IT compensation (48 percent) and outsourced IT services areas (including cloud) (43 percent) are all seeing budget increases. The survey indicated enterprise organizations are seeing even more growth in mobile/wireless (66 percent), applications (65 percent) and outsourced IT services including cloud (49 percent).

Critical and high priority IT initiatives include improving the use of data and analytics for business decisions (64 percent), improving IT project delivery performance (62 percent) and developing new skills to better support emerging technologies and business innovation (49 percent).

"While the research reveals budget increases, it is specific technology categories that are seeing growth. To meet business priorities and stay aligned with technology transformation, mobile/wireless, outsourced IT services and apps are receiving a larger percentage of the budget increases," CIO’s vice president and publisher Adam Dennison said in a statement. "Enterprises are in a race to grow revenue and exceed customer expectations, which can be met through technology innovation and implementation of mobile to enhance customer experience."

To execute on projects aligned with the growing budgets, IT headcount and IT compensation will increase or remain the same in the coming year, the report indicated. Approximately one-third of enterprise organizations plan to decrease budget allocations for hardware (34 percent) and network infrastructure (26 percent) investments. The report said this decrease in spending could be attributed to investments in lower cost hardware products, like tablets, and network initiatives moving into the cloud.