Organisations will spend 6% more on IT during 2004, according to two independent studies conducted by research group Forrester.
The results indicate that IT executives are now much more optimistic about their businesses, with a higher portion saying they expect to exceed their budgets.
The first study, the Confidence Poll, is a quarterly survey of 115 North American companies. It measures how CIOs view the health of the industries their organisation operates in and how IT spending relates to that. According to the survey, 43% of CIOs consider their business climate to be “strong or very strong”, up 10% from the first quarter’s results.
Further evidence of the projected growth rate is that 55% of CIOs expect to remain on budget for the next three quarters, while 34% of CIOs expect to outspend their budgets, up 9% from the previous quarter.
The survey results show two-thirds of CIOs think the research and application of emerging technologies is now a fundamental part of their IT strategy, and the same proportion expect to devote more attention to research and development.
The second survey investigated the projected growth rate of IT in the US in 2004. Forrester found two specific indicators that supported the results from the Confidence Poll survey: new business investments grew 16% in the first quarter, and the top 20 IT suppliers posted strong financial results in the first quarter.
The second survey identifies where that money will go. Spending on computer hardware is expected to increase 11% from 2003, while outlay on operating systems, systems management, security and IT outsourcing will grow 9%. Modest rises of around 3% are expected in IT consultants and full-time staff costs.
The report also found that nine key industry areas expect to increase their IT spending as a result of favorable revenues and profits during the past two quarters. Among these are the healthcare, media, non-bank finance, consumer goods, information technology and professional services sectors.