Nearly one-third of IT professionals say IT budgets or resources are insufficient to meet their company's technology demands, according to a survey published Tuesday by Kaseya. The company surveyed 943 global IT professionals.
For 35% of technologists, IT budgets for 2021 stayed the same as last year, while another 13% of technologists say budgets were cut from 2020 levels. Just 38% of IT professionals say tech budgets increased from 2020.
Improving overall IT security, cloud migration and increasing IT productivity through automation are the top-three priorities for IT teams in the year ahead.
Following a 2.2% dip in 2020, global IT spend is projected to grow by 8.4% in 2021, according to Gartner. But recovery doesn't look the same for all businesses and many IT leaders are navigating higher technology demands with equal or smaller tech budgets.
"The pandemic has accelerated the need for digital transformation, which IT teams have had to accommodate, at times with fewer staff and smaller budgets," according to the report.
The need to sustain the requirements of the workforce under a remote model, a complex task made more difficult as offices partly reopen, drives technology demand. Four in 10 IT professionals cited remote workforce management as a key budget driver, according to the survey.
CIOs, equipped with business and tech acumen, are expected to deliver on their company's tech needs with a budget-friendly approach. A top priority in the post-pandemic reality is ensuring technology can support a digital business transformation, according to John-David Lovelock, distinguished research VP at Gartner.
The transition to a digital business is about "having your value proposition increasingly digital in nature," Lovelock told CIO Dive in March. Though most companies fell short of their revenue goals, the expectation ahead is that CIOs lead companies to "overperform in their IT."
More than half of IT pros expect to increase cloud spending as they attack their company's tech priorities, according to the Kaseya survey. Cloud governance models, cost management solutions and financial modeling tools can help bring cloud usage under control.
CIOs looking to get a bigger bang from their IT budgets can learn from nonprofits on budget efficiency. Nonprofit organizations seek to remove complexity from the IT stack, often standardizing around single platforms to reduce custom coding.