IT spending in 2013 is expected to stay flat or only increase slightly from 2012, as companies look to keep budgets in line amid financial uncertainty in the United States and Western Europe and other concerns, according to Enterprise Conversationís new reader poll.
In the poll, which gauges how much IT spending will increase or decrease in 2013 compared to 2012, about 54 percent of participants responded that their budgets would increase by between 2.5 percent and 5 percent. Another 23 percent reported that their budgets would remain flat year-over-year.
The results back up a recent report by analyst firm Gartner, which found that global IT spending will increase only by about 2.5 percent in 2013. (See: Telecom Spending Will Help Overall IT Market in 2013.) While that still translates into $2.68 trillion dollars, itís far from the trend a few years ago when IT spending grew by between 5 percent and 6 percent annually.
This means that IT department will have to make some tough decisions in the new year. Namely, do IT managers and CIOs go ahead and start major projects that could increase productivity and improve the company's infrastructure, or do they use their scarce dollars to just maintain what the company needs?
One poll participant wrote that while he has watched IT dollars increase over the years, and he himself went from a part-time to a full-time position, the sheer number of different devices he has to manage means that most of the budget is now accounted for in 2013. Reader Gwendel wrote:
I am full-time for the same two school districts and have seen the number of devices I am responsible for increase dramatically from around 120 to around 250 for two K-12 school districts with a combined enrollment of around 200. So, in that limited sense, spending on people has increased, but we are at a plateau now that I don't see changing anytime soon. But I do expect the number of devices to double again within the next five years, so our increase in IT will be devoted to hardware.
There are some bright spots in 2013. For one, Gartner found that telecom spending is likely to increase as different businesses invest in networking equipment to support larger datacenters designed for cloud computing infrastructures. In the EC poll, about 11.5 percent of participants reported their spending would actually increase 5 percent or more next year.
In rounding out the poll, about 7 percent of participants are preparing to "slash and burn" their budgets in 2013, while about 4 percent havenít decided on a final budget just yet.
Enterprise Conversation readers can still participate in this poll and leave comments.