According to a new report from Merrill Lynch based on 100 CIO surveys, overall IT spending will grow by 2.5 percent in 2006, up marginally from the 2 percent mark recorded in 2005.
That's not to say that CIOs don't have wish lists of things they want to do. The study found that 65 percent of respondents had "long wish lists" of IT project that have not yet been funded.
IT staffing is also expected to grow by only 1.5 percent per year with just over a quarter of respondents (26 percent) reporting no head count growth at all.
In 2006, storage spending is predicted to hit 10.1 percent of enterprise IT budgets, which is the same level as 2005. The 2005 figure is up marginally from 9 percent in 2004.
The increased storage spending was prompted by compliance issues, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, as well as data growth.
The march of x86 servers is expected to continue in 2006 with 75 percent of survey respondents indicating they planned an purchasing one. Dell is apparently the No. 1 choice globally, with IBM coming in second in Europe and HP holding down the No. 2 spot in the U.S.
Unix servers will also be bought in 2006, with two-thirds of the respondents saying they expected to make a purchase. IBM holds down top spot as the most preferred UNIX systems vendor at 29 percent. HP came in second at 19 percent and Sun finished third with 14 percent.