IT Leaders Enter 2015 With Boosted Budgets

Thus far, 2014 has been a pivotal year for the IT landscape, as decision-makers opened their minds to ideas such as social media, cloud resources and mobility in the enterprise. Now that the new year is just around the bend, these leaders are looking to put their money down on these developments and finally leverage their functionality for positive business outcomes.

Financial roadmap for companies in 2015

As the world of IT continues to evolve with exponential rates of innovation and expansion, it should come as no surprise that executive leaders are ramping up their tech budgets for the next 12 months. According to a recent report from ComputerWorld, 43 percent of surveyed decision-makers reported increases in their IT budgets over last year - a substantial jump from the 36 percent who made that claim in the prior annual forecast. These financial upticks aren't small change, either, as the average budget spike was recorded at just over 13 percent.

The report totaled a net expenditure increase of 4.3 percent overall, and the momentum of the last decade suggests that these figures are only set to rise further. The source explained that with this cushier financial outlook, companies are looking to strengthen their cyber security measures, migrate more of their applications and services to the cloud, develop stronger big data analytics capabilities and ramp up internal application development both in the office and for remote users. However, more experimental initiatives are also on the radar, an decision-makers are eager to get ahead in this unexplored terrain.

"The theme for IT spending in 2015 is all around digital business," says Richard Gordon, a U.K.-based Gartner analyst. "So you're seeing spending in things like analytics. There's a wave of data coming from customers and social media. And as the Internet of Things rolls out, there will be even more information on customers. Businesses are scrambling to figure out how they can extract value from that information."

Hardware demands decline

The trends highlighted by ComputerWorld may be responsible for budgetary increases across sectors, but decision-makers are also looking for ways to trim the fat on their tech investment profiles to keep costs down. The source explained that hardware procurement is predicted to decline in 2015, as organizations embrace the use of off-premise appliances and hosted solutions that don't require as much maintenance and monitoring. This shift is representative of a more consumer-centric IT department, in which end-users expect fast, precise fulfillment of their demands.

"We're making concerted efforts to spend less money on on-premises infrastructure and data centers," said Georgetown University CIO Lisa Davis, according to the news source. "We want to leverage cloud solutions or technologies in order to find ways to be more efficient and effective."

With concerns surrounding data sprawl and the rise of virtualization technology, it's no surprise that executive leaders are moving away from the capital expense models of legacy systems. Even if organizations don't plan to mirror the investment patterns laid out in ComputerWorld's findings, network consolidation and data center optimization should be top of mind.