Research: 2013 IT Budget Outlook

Oct 22, 2012


Rising Spending, Stagnant Strategies

With all the business reliance on technology today, IT budgets should be a priority. That, and the implication that they're not, was the battle cry of some of some of the respondents to our 2013 IT budgeting research of 351 business technology professionals.

But it's not just about business leaders failing to comprehend that IT is the lifeblood of business innovation. It's complicated. And the massive changes, not only in the business environment (Great Recession, anyone) but the consumerization (also known as commoditization) of items that were sacred cows for IT has led some to think that centralized IT is dead. So why pay attention to IT's budget if it's just going to be all moved out into lines of business?

Yet those are just the newest, most negative forces affecting business technology at organizations. Other, strong forces are still at play, to include the old chestnut of security and the fresh-faced new kid, analytics and big data. And if central IT has detractors, it also has its champions among CEOs and other business leaders who understand the value of economies of scale and the value of technology ownership versus rental. Will things snap back to the way they used to be? Certainly not. But those who look only at a limited set of the new influences on business technology are likely just as wrong in their forecasts as those who insist upon looking at the old-school set of influences on business technology.

Those who succeed at this business technology game of chaos and control have one thing in common: a relentless drive to create business productivity, cut business costs and even create revenue with IT innovation. These are things that smart CEOs want to resource. While IT organizations that are in resourcing survival mode do manage to cut costs and innovate, it would seem obvious that those that are not scrambling to survive might create more innovation. Put another way, do you want your IT leadership strategizing where they're going to get the money to proactive replace equipment before it runs to failure? Or do you want your IT leadership thinking about how they're going to produce results to delight those who have provided sufficient resources to run a truly great operation?

It's not all about business leadership, of course. IT owns some of the resourcing equation. Whether this means IT produces comparative performance metrics about resourcing and budgeting, or whether it means that instead of putting a lot of energy into resisting trends like CMO participation in social media technology or consumerization, IT leaders who focus on helping and creating fantastic business results will succeed despite budgeting challenges and may find that budgeting roadblocks get removed as the IT organization becomes higher performing with the resources it has. (R5571012)

Survey Name   InformationWeek 2013 IT Budget Survey
Survey Date   September 2012
Region   North America
Number of Respondents    351
Purpose   To determine practices, perceptions and procedures surrounding IT budgeting in enterprise environments.

Research Report