Also see: IT Salary 2018
Spiceworks had some welcome news for CIOs and the IT pros who answer to them today at its Spiceworld conference here in Austin, Texas. A "budgetary bounty" awaits them in 2018, discovered the company.
Forty-four percent of organizations expect their IT budgets to rise over the next 12 months and 43 percent expect their budgets to hold steady, according to the company's newly-released (and pirate-themed) State of IT survey of over 1,000 IT buyers in North America and Europe. On average, those expecting bigger IT budgets predict gains of 19 percent. Only 11 percent of respondents said they anticipated a decrease.
Many of those IT departments can expect their headcounts to swell, too.
Forty-five percent of respondents predict an increase in IT staffing in 2018, while 48 percent are expecting their staffing levels to remain steady. Only three percent said they expect to shed some staffers.
Sixty percent of organizations expect their companies to post revenue gains and nearly a quarter (24 percent) expect sales to stay steady. Only nine percent said they expected their revenues to drop.
Cloud providers also have reason to smile.
"Fifty-five percent of our respondents said their cloud budgets were increasing, and of overall IT budgets, 21 percent of that money is going to cloud services," Peter Tsai, senior IT analyst at Spiceworks, told Datamation. It's a pretty significant figure, he added, considering that the cloud is narrowing the gap with software (26 percent). Hardware is expected to soak up 31 percent of IT budgets and managed services providers will take home 15 percent.
In the hardware category, spending on desktops PCs (17 percent) will slightly outpace laptops (15 percent), followed by servers (13 percent) and networking equipment (eight percent). On the software front, operating systems (11 percent) take the lead, followed by security software (10 percent), productivity software (10 percent) and virtualization (nine percent).
Meanwhile, businesses will continue to turn to the cloud for some critical workloads.
Cloud infrastructures are attracting the communications and collaboration workloads (42 percent) of many businesses, followed closely by backup and disaster recovery (41 percent). The cloud is also becoming the go-to source of productivity solutions (29 percent) for a growing number of companies.
Technology trends to watch include IT automation and advanced security, each of which currently enjoy adoption rates of roughly 40 percent. Businesses are also investing in software-defined storage and virtual storage area network (SAN) technologies (30 percent).
Some emerging technologies have already gained a foothold at many organizations. Twenty-nine percent have adopted Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, followed by virtual reality (VR) at 18 percent and artificial intelligence (AI) at 13 percent.
More insights are available here.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.