Finally! The do-more-with-less mentality in IT may be shifting

The Spiceworks 2014 State of IT Report shows a surprising upswing in technology budgets. What the numbers could mean

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2014 IT budget

Planning IT takes a lot of forethought — and cold hard cash.

In its annual report on tech adoption trends, Spiceworks talked to its community of 5 million IT pros to get the lowdown on how key tech trends are impacting IT.

The average IT budget this year was US$253,389. Next year, 42 per cent of those surveyed plan to increase that budget, while 16 per cent will decrease it and 28 per cent plan to keep it the same.

In its 2014 IT Budget Report, Spiceworks found that IT budgets (as well as headcounts) are gaining a positive charge, with an increase in budgets to spend on hardware, software, cloud and managed services. Why? Spiceworks attributes this to broader economic trends in North America — unemployment is down and the stock market is up.

With the popularity of server virtualization, hardware and software projects have been consuming up to 75 per cent of the budget. Some of this spending is slated for servers and networking, driven by the need to purchase more powerful servers and faster networking gear.

Cloud services only account for 14 per cent of spend, says Spiceworks, as IT pros are still reluctant to make infrastructure changes and have lingering security concerns. But that’s changing, as they recognize how cloud can help scale infrastructure and control costs.

Over the next six months, IT pros plan to start using cloud services for online backup and recovery, productivity solutions, infrastructure, email hosting and application hosting.

Mobile is also on the radar, as IT pros must constantly adapt to “a network that moves around faster than an SSD at warp speed.” Of those surveyed by Spiceworks, 63 per cent had adopted tablets and 11 per cent planned to in the next six months.

When it comes to BYOD, IT pros are handling this influx of devices with more support, more policies and more management. Of those surveyed, 68 per cent say they’re supporting BYOD. This is much higher in smaller companies: 83 per cent of those with fewer than 19 employees support BYOD, while 61 per cent of those with 500 or more employees support it.

“As an IT pro I’m not terribly fond of it — we all like things standardized,” says Scott Leitch, IT administrator for Ferrari Piston Services in the U.K. But he’ll consider BYOD if it will save the company money.

“Allowing your users to use the devices that they enjoy using the most — that’s only a good thing,” says Alex Brothman, director of technology with Gemini Healthcare in the U.S. “If you have the power and capability to secure someone’s own device the same way you can a device that’s purchased by the company, I think you should at least consider BYOD.”

Not every IT pro has the same requirements — or the same opinions. But one thing is certain: Sticking with the status quo isn’t going to cut it in 2015.


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