Half of IT Industry Executives Expect IT Budgets to Be Higher in 2008

November 14, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Technology | Trade Shows & Events

Some 43% of IT industry executives say they believe that 2008 IT budgets will be higher than in 2007, and an additional 9% say budgets will be much higher, according to CDW Corporation’s Information Technology Industry Straw Poll of 266 IT industry executives, taken at the 2007 CDW Partner Summit.

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The Poll also revealed a shift in how the IT industry is communicating the value of technology to business executives, CDW said:

  • When asked to cite the top reason customers purchase their product, service or solution, just 13% cited technology leadership – while 83% cited business benefits such as increasing operational efficiency (38%), building or expanding a competitive advantage (16%), and supporting expansion and/or revenue growth (9%).

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  • When asked to choose how they would like their company to be perceived by customers, 31% indicated a desire to be known as a provider of leading business solutions; 21% indicated that they would like to be known as a partner that understands customers’ problems; and 32% expressed the desire to be known as a technology leader.

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“The IT industry clearly recognizes the need to create business value and to communicate that value to support both IT and business executives,” said Matt Troka, vice-president for product and partner management at CDW. “While technology leadership is still important for driving innovation, customers need IT solutions that are specifically tailored to solve their unique business challenges.”

Despite the focus on communicating business value, IT industry executives did note difficulties in communicating to and educating business executives on how to harness technology:

  • When asked to name the biggest obstacles for customers trying to increase their IT budgets, 25% of respondents cited lack of executive vision in how to harness IT for business advantage, while 12% noted a lack of senior executive understanding and support.
  • Likely related to the same issue, 34% stated that competing priorities for resources reduced IT budget growth opportunities – the leading response to that question.

The communication gap between business and IT executives also surfaced when respondents were asked to name the biggest IT mistakes made by companies; the top 2 responses:

  • 32% of respondents indicated that the lack of a vision for applying technology to solve business problems was the biggest IT mistake.
  • An additional 15% cited insufficient business cases for IT investment.

“Despite the emphasis on communicating how technology can drive profitable revenue growth and bottom-line results, many business executives do not look to IT to power their business,” continued Troka. “The IT industry needs to engage business leaders directly and more clearly articulate how technology can grow the top line, bolster earnings and define strong competitive advantages.”

During the straw poll, IT industry executives also took a moment to name their biggest frustration during 2007:

  • Despite high gas prices, longer commutes and longer work hours, respondents named anything and everything to do with airports as their top frustration, with 21% of respondents saying so.
  • Media coverage of Britney Spears ranked second on that list with 18% of responding executives.
  • Other responses included traffic/commuting (15%), longer work hours (14%) and the high price of gasoline (13%).
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