Our friends at Spiceworks just released their 2014 State of IT Budget Report - a summary of where IT professionals see their money going in the coming year. A few key findings from the report:
- Respondents on average forecast an annual spend of $302,000 on hardware, software, cloud and managed services - that tally aligns with Forrester's estimation that North American IT budgets will reach $976 billion in 2014.
- The future might be in the cloud, but for now IT leaders are staying grounded. Only 14% of IT budgets are dedicated for cloud services. This could be due to uncertainty about the security of cloud-based services; around this office we speculate that it has as much to do with a greater increase in the amount of budget allocated to hardware purchases delayed over the past few years.
- The migration away from Windows XP will continue to be a big factor in how IT departments allocate money and time during Q1. The EOL of Windows XP and growth in server virtualization projects will lead to hardware and software initiatives consuming three-quarters of IT budgets in 2014.
Overall, there appears to be a good deal of optimism and purse strings seem to be loosening. As more help desks are realigned to be revenue centers - rather than cost centers - we'll likely see a greater emphasis on the ROI of IT expenditures. A premium will be put on tools that build efficiency, initiatives that tie to overarching business goals and the hardware acquisitions necessary to achieve targets. For now, though, it appears that the hard charge into cloud-based IT solutions will be deferred until H2 and into 2015.