Uncertain times call for wise planning in IT. Global political uncertainty and flat company revenues mean budgets will be stalled for the near future, affecting investment in not just products but people. It sounds dire; however, four clear themes remain relevant in governing IT budget spend for 2017.
Hardware and software
Research from Spiceworks, a network of IT professionals, suggests the bulk of financial allotment for the year ahead will remain with hardware (37% of overall budget) and software (31%).
Despite the hot topic of desktops being dead, planned spending for them is a nose ahead of laptops (18% and 16% respectively).
What will force IT departments to spend money on software this year is less likely to be new features than simple end-of-life replacements. Office 2007, for instance, is still installed in 51% of businesses across the globe; and Windows XP is running in 56%, despite reaching its end-of-life in 2014.
Virtualization (15%) and productivity (13%) are at the top of the tree when it comes to priority projects.
Cloud and Hosted Services
There will be more spending on cloud-based services – 38% of respondents consider the cloud very or extremely important to their current business practices (compared to 29% last year). Email hosting is predicted to take up much of the 14% overall budget allocation in this sector with online backup and recovery a close second.
Managed Service Projects
Remote Management of company IT infrastructure will take up 13% of the budget pie. As headcounts shrink, IT departments are going to have to be more strategic in how they use people and outsourcing will become a necessity.
AI, VR and 3D
Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and 3D printing are out of the lab and into real world applications. The remaining 5% of budget spend is predicted to be invested in making these systems a part of everyday use.