IT Budgeting Doesn’t Have to be a Burden this Year

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Right about now, many of us are rolling up our sleeves, starting our budget planning process for 2014. You know the ritual. “Where can we save?” “What can we cut?” “Do more with less.” No, wait! That was last year. And the year before that. And the decade before that!

In fact, corporate spending on IT technology investments last peaked in 2000. But 2014 may tell a different story. Many IT industry analyst forecasts predict IT spend increases for both IT services and hardware next year.

From The Financialist, citing data from Gartner, predictions call for a 3.6% increase in total enterprise IT technology spending globally in 2014 (excluding internal services), more than double the growth in 2013. IT services spending is projected to jump 4.6%, while hardware investments are expected to grow 2.3%. It’s also seen as the start of a 3-year upward trend in IT budgets, followed by total spending increases of 4.1% (5.1% IT services/2.0% hardware) in 2015 and 4.2% (5.2% IT services/2.5% hardware) in 2016. Other analysts, including Forrester Research, have shared similar forecasts suggesting increases in the 5% - 6% range in the U.S. And here’s why:

Time is running out. According to Credit Suisse’s The Apps Revolution Manifesto, Vol. 1 The Technologies, “Every decade or so, the ongoing evolution of hardware and software technologies reaches a critical mass that results in a paradigm shift…the average lifespan of an applications package is 10-15 years.” After more than a decade of marginal IT investment growth spending, technology upgrades can no longer wait. For example, more than one-third of businesses are still using Windows XP, a dated operating system that Microsoft will discontinue supporting on April 8, 2014—with continued use exposing users to potential security risks, noncompliance risks and a host of other concerns. 

New and converging technologies. Mobile technology and connectivity applications are changing the way we communicate and collaborate daily—often utilizing multiple devices at rapid-fire pace. The growth in acceptance and transitioning to cloud services and SaaS solutions has drastically affected how applications and services are delivered, deployed and managed within the enterprise. Big data and fast data applications are capturing, delivering, analyzing and storing unprecedented volumes of data at unheard of speeds.

Demand for high-performance solutions. The need for greater scalability, availability, flexibility, integration, cost efficiencies and other factors to stay competitive, is driving demand for solutions that are beyond the capabilities of many legacy hardware and software solutions.

Renewing confidence. The “C-Suite” is feeling just a bit more confident these days. Cautious, yet confident, as we seem to have navigated one global crisis after another. 

So, while IT budget forecasts may be sending a little sunshine your way, you’ll still need to do more, save more and work smarter. That’s where we can help—no matter the size of your organization.

Windstream’s data centercolocationcloud computingcloud storage and managed services deliver a solid range of cost efficient benefits, including options with no CapEx and fixed OpEx costs. Our robust unified communications streamline multiple business communications technologies with a cost-efficient, single application interface. Small businesses can bundle Internet, phone service and other vital business tools to control costs.  

We know. The necessary, annual IT budgeting ritual can be challenging—perhaps even a bit of a burden. But look at the bright side. With resources loosening up a bit, budgeting hasn’t been this much fun in over a decade!

If you’re starting your 2014 IT budget planning process, talk to a trusted Windstream advisor—we’re ready for some fun with 2014 budgeting too!