Analytics Gets Big IT Investment in 2017

The 37th annual SIM IT Trends Study found that analytics continues to be an important strategic investment for organizations.

It's one thing to talk about a particular technology being important to an organization. But the real measure of that importance may just be where the business is investing its IT budget dollars. And that's good news for analytics, business intelligence, predictive capabilities, and all those other categories that have to do with gaining insights from data. It's also good news for data professionals.

The 2017 SIM (Society of Information Management) IT Trends study;and survey again ranked analytics at the top of the list for the largest investments by IT organizations in 2016. And this collection of technologies -- SIM includes analytics, business intelligence, data mining, forecasting, and big data all in this category -- has remained at the top of the list since 2009.

"Investments in IT, both operational and strategic, provide a great deal of insight into which technologies provide the most value for organizations," SIM says in this year's report. "business intelligence and related technologies continue to dominate IT organizational investment priorities, rating as the number one largest technology investment for the last eight years."

Interestingly, this group of technologies around analytics also made the top of another SIM list from the survey -- "technologies that should get more investment." And this category also ranked 4th on the list of "technologies that are most most personally worrisome."

SIM notes that inclusion of these technologies at the top or close to the top of all three lists "reflects the potential of these technologies to be important enablers of business value. It may also indicate the difficulty staffing the skills needed to derive business value from them."

That's good news for data and analytics pros who find themselves in high demand these days.

And the interest in and commitment to analytics in organizations today shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

The survey also found that IT organizations planned to make good on their intention to increase spending on analytics and related technologies in 2017. Overall, organizations responding to the survey spent 6.1% of 2016 IT budgets on this category of technologies. And they projected they would spend 7.4% on the category in 2017, representing a 26.4% increase, according to the SIM IT Trends Study. Even though a budget allocation of 6% or 7% may seem small, the percentage jump from year to year is the largest among all the categories, well ahead of the next category, Cybersecurity, which jumped by 20.2% year over year.

To compile this year's report, SIM looked at survey responses from 1213 individual SIM members, representing 801 unique organizations. The results included responses from 490 CIOs. The average company size in terms of annual revenues is $4.75 billion and the median is $500 million. This year's SIM IT Trends Study report marks the 37th annual edition of the SIM IT Trends Study.