The annual priorities for IT managers are certainly evolving, staff and on site server expenditure is dropping to be replaced by increased investment into cloud services.
The cloud is certainly providing businesses and IT professionals with greater alternative options for systems and storage, and investment into Virtual Private Networks is set to increase this year.
We are now living in an age of user empowerment, flexible working environments and greater collaboration across organisations. There is much less need for a hard network perimeter and highly controlled access, which in essence is now not fitting particularly well with modern working practices. However, maintenance spend is expected to increase this year, and most certainly increases in legacy software bills.
A recent survey carried out by Computer Weekly talking to 353 UK IT decision makers suggested most expected to have similar expenditure this year as last, but only 17% said their budget would increase by more than 10%. However, 16% said their budget would increase by up to 10%, and less than 10% of those surveyed suggested a budget decrease.
The main areas for budget increases were cloud services, software and disaster recovery. Interestingly, given the change in culture one fifth of those surveyed suggested further investment in on-premise servers, some investing further into on-premise storage. Overall, 15% suggested greater investment into maintenance budgets.
CRM is a big investment
One of the key investment areas highlighted in the survey was CRM. When asked what business applications were likely to be part of their plans, CRM upgrades or implementation was cited as an important part of the plans, with around 80% of those surveyed.
Another popular upgrade was shared between enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer experience management, both with 48%.
Migration to enterprise business applications
Not surprisingly, 42% of those surveyed suggested they would be investing in enterprise business applications to improve productivity. Microsoft 365 being a popular choice with the tech giants push to make Office a true cross-platform application running across Android and Apple devices proved to be a popular area for investment.
With the migration towards greater sharing of data, not surprisingly the survey suggested sharing services to be firmly on the investment agenda.
Trending towards a mobile office
A highly mobile workforce requires mobile access and 27% of those surveyed would be implementing mobile endpoint technology, with a further 32% looking at datacentre initiatives.
So what do the results reflect?
HPE and Microsoft are really pushing hybrid cloud infrastructure which needs to work alongside public clouds. The figures for automation and management of systems demonstrate the concern and lean to towards simplifying datacentre management.
There is a true focus now on hybrid clouds, which is certainly not a surprising outcome from this survey where IT professionals are concerned.