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IT spending upswing: How are businesses allocating their budgets?

According to the latest figures from Gartner, IT spending will see an upswing this year, as businesses expand their budgets for technology. Researchers predict that global IT spending will reach $3.8 trillion by the end of 2015, representing a 2.4 increase over last year.

There are several main areas where Gartner expects these dollars to be spent. Data center systems spending, for example, is poised to reach $143 billion, and the enterprise software market will generate $335 billion this year. One of the largest markets here is telecom services, which is on track to reach $1,638 trillion.

Although the global marketplaces tell a story, individual businesses have their own plans for their IT budgets. Computerworld recently completed its annual forecast survey of IT budgets, which included responses from 194 company and IT leaders, many of which are planning to expand their IT budgets this year. According to the survey, almost half of enterprise respondents – 43 percent – noted that they’d have a bigger IT budget to work with this year, up from last year’s 36 percent.

But what are these businesses devoting their funds to this year? Let’s take a look:

1) Security improvements
The Computerworld survey found that the top area of IT spending this year will be security, particularly in light of the large-scale retail breaches seen in the second half of 2014. Just under half of survey respondents said they planned to allocate a sizeable section of their IT budget to security enhancements including access control, intrusion prevention, identity management as well as virus and malware protection.

2) Cloud technology
The cloud is still a major part of business spending, as evidenced by the 40 percent of respondents who said they’d be spending an increasing amount on different cloud infrastructures and software-as-a-service technologies this year. Computerworld noted that oftentimes, spending on the cloud creates a shift in the budget away from on-premise systems.

“When companies move things to the cloud, they’re spending less on traditional on-premise technology,” noted IDC analyst Stephen Minton. “So instead of buying their own servers, storage and systems, they’re buying infrastructure-as-a-service or software-as-a-service.”

3) Enterprise analytics
This year, 38 percent of survey respondents noted that they’d be raising their spending on business analytics technologies, including those related to business intelligence and data mining.

“There’s a wave of data coming from customers and social media,” Gartner Analyst Richard Gordon pointed out. “And as the Internet of Things rolls out, there will be even more information on customers. Businesses are scrambling to figure out how they can extract value from that information.”

As IT budgets continue to expand, it will be interesting to see which areas of the business administrators choose to allocate funding.

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