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CIO Tech Poll: Economic Outlook Reveals IT Budget Growth, Increased Spending on New IT Projects & IT Talent Concerns

Increased Focus on External Customer Continues in Upcoming Year

Framingham, Mass. – May 27, 2015 – IDG’s CIO—the executive-level IT media brand providing insight into business technology leadership— reveals the CIO Tech Poll: IT Economic Outlook results for May 2015. The research indicates that half of organizations (50%) are increasing IT budgets within the next year, and overall IT budgets are increasing by 6.4%. As IT leaders look at their organizational needs, a majority (61%) will increase spending on new projects in the coming year. Edge technology spending, including mobile, social, CRM, M-commerce and marketing automation, continues to trend upward in the next one to three years.

Plans For New Project Spending Climbs Sharply
New or discretionary IT budget allocations have soared in the past year. In 2014, 47% of IT leaders said they would increase spending on new projects. This has jumped to 61% this year, which is the highest percentage since the question was first asked in 2009 (25%). Thirty-nine percent of new project spending will be on projects that help increase top line revenue. With one-third of IT budgets being spent on edge technologies, like the SMAC stack (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud), organizations are looking to invest in new companies. Forty-six percent of CIOs surveyed plan to increase spending with new technology companies.

“Emerging technologies are the key to enterprise innovation. IT leaders are spending time learning about these new technologies, and the vendors creating them, and are allocating budget for technologies like the SMAC stack,” said Adam Dennison, SVP and publisher, CIO. “Enterprises are looking for the best solution and are not worried that those solutions are coming from ‘straight-to-the-enterprise start-ups.’ Emerging tech vendors should take this cue to showcase how their agile and innovative technology solutions can help businesses succeed.”

Increased Focus Continues on External Customer
External customers are a big focus for new IT projects. Nearly three-quarters (73%) believe IT is interacting with external customers more than two years ago while 37% will focus their new IT spending on external customer interaction, relationship or experience-related investments, up from 33% in 2013. Looking at the budget allocation, CIOs currently allocate 68% of their budget for core technologies like infrastructure, network, storage and 32% to newer “edge” technologies. However, in the next one to three years, the budget allocation for core technologies drops to 55% and the budget for edge technologies increases to 45% of their budgets.

IT Remains Involved in Technology Purchases Funded Outside of IT
Over three-quarters of IT leaders surveyed (76%) said they have a policy or process to ensure IT remains involved in tech purchases to reaffirm there is the right level of support and oversight from IT to keep problems at bay. When technology purchases are funded by other departments or functions, 58%say IT’s involvement varies depending on the individual department’s experience and expertise as well as on the scope of the project. In fact, 50% of IT leaders said line of business (LOB) counterparts identified their specific business need and came to IT for recommendations on technology and solution providers. For 21% of the CIOs we surveyed IT identifies the business need and makes recommendations regarding technology solutions or providers while 16% say LOB identifies the need and solution/provider then brings to IT for vetting. Just three percent say IT is not typically involved unless a problem arises and only one percent believe IT is not involved even if there’s a problem.

Recruitment & Retention Challenging for Many Enterprise Organizations
With IT continually transforming, IT leaders’ are challenged in recruiting and retaining IT talent. While overall, 67% consider recruiting, and 61% consider retaining IT talent a top challenge this is significantly higher in enterprise organizations with 81% sharing recruitment as one of their firms top challenges (versus 57% at small and medium sized (SMB) companies) and 74% say retention is a top challenge at their company (compared to 53% of SMB respondents).

Continue the Conversation
New this year, the CIO 100 Symposium & Awards Ceremony has added an Emerging Sponsor package to this renowned multi-day event which brings together 300+ CIOs and senior IT executives. As the CIO Tech Poll: Economic Outlook research reveals, CIOs are looking to invest in disruptive technologies in the SMAC stack (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) and beyond. Don’t miss your opportunity to learn about CIOs’ strategies and share how you can elevate their business. The 28th annual event will be held on August 9-11, 2015 at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities and how to get involved in the CIO 100 Symposium & Awards Ceremony, contact Adam Dennison, SVP and publisher, CIO at adennison@cio.com.

About CIO Tech Poll: IT Economic Outlook Research
The CIO Tech Poll: IT Economic Outlook Research is conducted once a year, among heads of IT, to gauge how current economic conditions are impacting IT spending. The current CIO Tech Poll: IT Economic Outlook was conducted between April 9, 2015 and April 23, 2015 through the CIO Forum on LinkedIn and the CIO customer database. Results are based on 230 respondents who indicated they are the top IT executive at their company or business unit.

To discuss opportunities for receiving additional data, please contact Sue Yanovitch at syanovitch@idgenteprise.com.

About CIO
CIO is the premier content and community resource for information technology executives and leaders thriving and prospering in this fast-paced era of IT transformation in the enterprise. The award-winning CIO portfolio—CIO.com, CIO magazine (launched in 1987), CIO executive programs, CIO custom solutions, CIO Forum on LinkedIn, CIO Executive Council and CIO primary research—provides business technology leaders with analysis and insight on information technology trends and a keen understanding of IT’s role in achieving business goals. Additionally, CIO provides opportunities for IT solution providers to reach this executive IT audience. The CIO Executive Council is a professional organization of CIOs created to serve as an unbiased and trusted peer advisory group. CIO is published by IDG Enterprise, a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading media, events, and research company. Company information is available at http://www.idgenterprise.com/.

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IDG Enterprise
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