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Over the past three years, the chaos of the pandemic has been felt everywhere.
IT managers suddenly found themselves supporting legions of work-from-home employees; planned system expansions and upgrades had to be put on hold; organizations needed new technologies to accommodate changing workforce requirements.
Now with people returning to offices, IT priorities are shifting rapidly, especially given the looming recession, high inflation and stressed supply chains. The latest research report of TechCrunch offers some insight into where companies are allocating their IT spend in 2022.
Every year, the team polls IT decision-makers worldwide about their plans for the coming year. For their latest survey, they polled 1,200 IT leaders, representing roughly $570 billion in annual IT spending. TechCrunch asked them about their technology evaluations and their spending intentions to learn what they have planned for their enterprise networks.
Here are eight of the IT spending trends that TechCrunch deemed most significant:
Overall, spending in the space has slowed from previous predictions. The 2022 survey projects IT spending to rise 6.7% year over year (YOY), down from December, when growth was expected to be 8.7% YOY.
The research by TechCrunch shows that organizational plans to begin new IT projects have stalled since the start of 2022. At the same time, the need for experienced IT personnel has accelerated and hiring demand in the space has reached the highest level we have ever seen.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that more than 667,600 IT jobs will be added between 2020 and 2030, representing a 13% growth rate. The lack of experienced professionals is an issue that enterprises of all sizes in all markets will have to deal with for some time.
IT executives are advised to place a higher emphasis on employee retention as well as continuing to recruit new talent.
The SMB sector is showing slightly stronger growth than large enterprises. For vendors targeting the SMB market, now is an excellent time to increase marketing spend and fortify lead generation and content marketing. Smaller accounts may yield more sales in the near term.
Interestingly, the energy sector, which is usually conservative in its IT spending, is showing the highest budget increase. Education shows the lowest projected IT spending. Vendors should consider shifting marketing budgets to target verticals that project higher expenditures.
The survey also showed that the Latin American market will grow 30% to 40% more than North America, EMEA and APAC. Shoring up Latin American go-to-market strategies should contribute more to top-line growth.
Cybersecurity remains a top priority for enterprises of all sizes. During the pandemic, there was a significant rise in cyberattacks, with ransomware attacks up 150% in 2021. Remote workers became malware targets, and the majority of malware attacks were aimed at remote employees.
This is a trend that has legs and will not dissipate any time soon, as it is exacerbated by the skilled IT worker shortage described above. As such, consider strategic roadmaps to align with security products and services.
Companies won’t completely abandon having IT employees work remotely. However, more organizations plan to shift to a hybrid workforce. The survey reveals that 42% of IT staff are working entirely remotely, 31% have a hybrid work schedule and 27% of IT workers are now back in the office full time.
As the workforce remains scattered and mobile, organizations will need to rethink their communications infrastructure and communications policies to promote greater productivity and reduce risks.
It’s harder to purchase the equipment organizations need for operations. Disruptions in the supply chain are making it harder to buy everything, especially equipment for remote workers. Enterprise IT managers are advised to factor in plenty of lead time to procure business-critical equipment.
Organizations are adopting cloud computing and SaaS faster than ever. The cloud computing model has matured and proven it is secure and cost-effective, and more organizations are opting for public, private and hybrid clouds. Companies that offer cloud and SaaS solutions are likely to see sales increase.
What is clear is that the landscape is shifting and will continue to affect IT spending in the immediate future. Anyone selling enterprise solutions should consider what’s changed and where companies are likely to invest when making their sales and marketing plans for the year ahead.