Survey: 40% expect IT budgets to stay the same in 2009

According to Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions’ second-annual survey, 40 percent of respondents indicated that they expect their IT budgets to stay the same in 2009. The number of executives who expect their budget to increase this year is equal to those who expect a decrease (29 percent). Those expecting an increase anticipate a 16 percent boost while those that expect a decrease think their budget will fall 18 percent.

Not surprisingly, 77 percent of respondents listed “reducing costs” as the most important business issue, making it the No. 1 concern for IT executives. This is more important to respondents than “improving security/reducing risk” which 38 percent listed as the most important issue in this year-Å¡?„?´s survey but was noted by 78 percent in the 2008 study conducted by Arrow ECS.

However, security was the second-named initiative (59 percent) among those planned for the next six to 12 months, with data management being named most often at 61 percent. Nine out of 10 report that “better access and information sharing”, and “meeting service-level objectives” are the key technology issues.

Approximately 38 percent of midmarket IT executives require evidence of “return on investment” for technical purchases, and those respondents require an average of 33 percent ROI. Only 12 percent require a one-year payback, while 33 percent look at the total cost of ownership over multiple years as the financial requirement.

The study was conducted online in April by Echo Research, an independent research firm. The firm polled 200 IT executives in the United States. The participants are responsible for managing IT systems, assessing their company’s IT needs and selecting IT consultants and service providers. They represent companies with 1,000 to 5,000 employees in the top IT sectors, manufacturing, health care or health services, financial services, distribution/wholesale, professional services and retail.

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