More than half of business-technology executives see IT spending increasing, on average, by 4.3 percent next year, according to a survey of 922 IT and business decision-makers conducted last month by the IT consulting firm Forrester Research.
While 53 percent of respondents expect IT budgets to increase, only 7 percent foresee decreases. The 4.3 percent anticipated increase in IT spending next year is up from 3.4 percent for 2005 and 1.4 percent in 2004.
The survey revealed a few curious details. More companies that centralize IT will increase tech spending next year versus those with decentralized IT organizations -- 60 percent to 46 percent. Also, more companies that outsource IT will raise IT spending than those that don't -- 54 percent to 40 percent.
Forrester senior analyst Michael Speyer cautions not to read too much into these numbers, noting, for instance, that survey takers might not be aware of all the IT spending plans for units within companies with decentralized IT organizations. In addition, he conjectures, companies that outsource may have experienced efficiencies that will allow them to increase IT spending elsewhere.
Similarly intriguing are survey results showing that 65 percent of Siebel Systems customers and 59 percent of Cisco Systems buyers will increase IT spending next year.
"We could read anything into these numbers," says Speyer, who wouldn't speculate why he thought these vendors' customers will increase IT budgets next year. "What these numbers reveal is tantalizing, but what they hide is vital."