IT budgets: why we can't ignore the challenging truths
by Patrice Burnside, on 30-Oct-2017 14:59:00
After surveying more than 260 large enterprises about their IT budgets, a key set of challenging truths have emerged:
- Only 7% of IT professionals in the US expect an IT budget increase
- In comparison, 38% of UK respondents expect an IT budget increase
Worldwide, the majority of budgets are unlikely to change, according to research spanning the US, UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. These observations have generated a fascinating discussion among industry commentators, IT publications and the expert IT teams we interact with on a daily basis.
Take this excerpt from infoTECH, where tech writer Steve Anderson poses an intriguing theory linking US budget predictions to the relative strength of IT maturity:
It may sound counter-intuitive, but the end result is that much of the United States won't be spending more to meet IT threats in an environment where there are more IT threats to meet than ever before. Thus, chief information officers (CIOs) throughout the United States are left with one real proposition: make the IT business cases show better value for the business to help drive spending.
But then, there's another point to consider; the United States' spend may be dropping because it has already reached heights that the rest of the world may not have. The report noted that IT service management (ITSM) maturity is already over level three for almost three out of four organizations—almost 70 percent—of organizations in the United States, and a third consider ITSM maturity to be either a one or a two.
...What if the United States' average spend is dropping because it's already among the highest on Earth, and now companies are scaling back spending to perform more maintenance-related functions?
Great reflections, Steve. It's vitally important that we consider the larger global framework whenever we think about gaining and maintaining competitive advantage. Elsewhere in his feature, Steve rightly points out that apathy cannot be made a factor when it comes to adequately investing in IT security.
Regardless of how you interpret the cause of global IT budgets fluctuations, perhaps there are a few universal truths that most organizations need to recognize. Speaking to eWeek writer Nathan Eddy, Axios vice president Markos Symeonides says:
In many ways, the overall message about IT budgets in the U.S. staying flat or decreasing is most concerning to larger IT firms seeking to compete on a global level. But SMBs should also take note, particularly if they work in a niche sector, are a start-up or are providing borderless digital services.
The benefit of investing in your organization’s IT maturity is that you free up IT and business resources to pursue value-adding innovations—these are the opportunities which allow any organization to pull ahead of its competitors.
As it stands, more than 90 percent of respondents in our recent survey expressed the view that budgets would remain constant or decrease for the foreseeable future. This is where the real value of an effective service management strategy shines brightest: it allows you to do more with less, to continue innovating even when the numbers say it shouldn’t be possible.
Addressing the UK market, ITPRO's Clare Hopping notes an optimistic prediction that 40% of UK teams "expect to spend more money on IT in the coming years, a higher percentage than any other country in the world".
Alexander Sword, writing for Computer Business Review, also recognizes this positive trend in the UK. He points out that within the UK, "only 30 percent of UK organisations expect budgets to decrease, compared to 50 percent in the US and 31 percent globally".
For more exclusive insights and key actions you can take to bolster your organization's competitive advantage, download a complimentary copy of the paper today. It also features unique insights into ITSM maturity levels by region and industry.