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IT Monitor Shows Overall Technology Spending Continues Upward Trajectory, Led by Small Business and Public Sector

According to the latest CDW IT Monitor, optimism continues to build among IT decision-makers, as half anticipate overall budget increases in the next six months, while only 8 percent expect budget cuts. Led by a strong increase in anticipated spending among government IT decision-makers, the IT Growth Monitor composite score rose to 76, up one point from December 2011.

Overall, anticipated hardware spending held steady at 91 percent, with government IT decision-makers experiencing a five percentage point jump since December (87 percent). While a large majority of IT decision-makers are planning hardware investments in the next six months, 73 percent say they will upgrade existing hardware. In general, demand for software among IT decision makers was down five percentage points to 85 percent, despite a three percentage point increase among government IT decision-makers. Software spending on new assets was also down, falling four percentage points to 47 percent.

The IT solutions spending outlook remained steady overall. A 10 percentage point increase in demand from government IT decision-makers offset a drop among corporate IT decision-makers. Of those planning to spend on IT solutions in the next six months, virtualization (52 percent), networking (45 percent) and security (43 percent) were the top priorities.

While anticipated IT hiring held steady at 23 percent overall, small and large-size businesses foresee a hiring increase of two and three percentage points, respectively. The public sector anticipates hiring increases of three-to-six percentage points over the next six months. Demand is highest for programmers/developers/engineers (57 percent) and analysts (55 percent).

Small Business, Local Government See Biggest Jumps in Anticipated Spending

Small business and local government IT decision-makers were the only groups that experienced double-digit growth in anticipated budget increases, both jumping 15 percentage points to 50 and 36 percent, respectively. In addition, those small business and local government IT decision-makers considering large investments increased 10 and 17 percentage points, respectively.

On the hardware front, small business and local government IT decision-makers expressed optimism in anticipated hardware investments, reporting five and seven percentage point increases over December 2011. Expected spending on new hardware assets also grew among both groups, with small business increasing five percentage points to 29 percent and local government increasing three percentage points to 14 percent.

Despite a five percentage point drop in anticipated software investment overall, demand from local government IT decision-makers increased five percentage points to 79 percent. Anticipated IT solutions investment from local government increased 17 percentage points to reach 43 percent, bringing IT solutions demand from the public sector to an all-time high. This optimism carried over into hiring, as local government and small business IT decision-makers report three and two percentage point increases, respectively, over the next six months.

“We are very encouraged to see a tremendous amount of optimism from small business and local government IT decision-makers. Small business is considered a key driver of our economy,” said Neal Campbell, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, CDW. “We anticipate that as the economic environment continues to improve, organizations will confidently invest in technology services and solutions to increase productivity, efficiency and gain additional advantages over their competitors.”

Increased Optimism in Key Sectors

Of the sectors surveyed, the information technology industry was most optimistic about IT budget increases in the next six months (59 percent), followed closely by the healthcare industry (53 percent). Anticipated hardware and solutions investments by the IT industry grew six and seven percentage points respectively to reach 97 and 61 percent. On the hiring front, the IT and healthcare industries were most optimistic about their six-month staffing outlook, projecting six and seven point increases in hiring, respectively.

Use of Tablet Computers, Smartphones in the Workplace is the Real Deal

Results from the latest CDW IT Monitor indicate that nearly six in 10 organizations use tablet computers. While more prevalent among medium and large-size businesses (62 percent), nearly half of small businesses reported tablet use (47 percent). Among government IT decision-makers, tablets were more commonly used at the state level (59 percent) than the federal level (48 percent). While the popularity of tablets has grown steadily, only 19 percent of IT decision-makers reported that tablets have replaced some of their organization’s personal computers. Among those not currently using tablets, 31 percent plan to do so in the next six months.

Nearly three-quarters of the IT decision-makers surveyed thought that the use of tablets and smartphones has led to an increase in productivity within their organization. Of those, 25 percent said there was a significant increase in productivity. Further, half of all IT decision-makers felt that the use of tablets and smartphones has led to cost savings in their organization. Among large businesses, 64 percent of IT decision-makers reported that consumer technology adoption has led to cost savings. Forty-two percent believed they experienced significant cost savings.

Organizations employing tablets reported using them in a variety of ways. The most common use is for sales or sales representatives (48 percent), followed by replacing printed materials (36 percent) and workgroup collaboration (32 percent). Overall, the Apple iOS operating system is most preferred with 61 percent of IT decision-makers choosing it. The Android operating system (24 percent) and Blackberry Tablet OS (9 percent) followed as distant second and third preferences.

“Tablet computer data uncovered in the latest IT Monitor proves that tablets and other consumer technologies certainly have their place in the work environment,” said Campbell. “As more organizations allow tablet computers and smartphones in the workplace, it will be important for IT decision-makers to ensure the technology can truly improve productivity, be integrated into their IT infrastructure, and be protected through IT security solutions.”

For more information about the sentiment of IT decision-makers, please visit www.cdwitmonitor.com.

Published Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:54 PM by David Marshall
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