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Every year we survey our readers to ask what significant Information Technology (IT) projects are in the works for the year ahead. The results are always interesting. This year we even had a respondent say the company of over 50 employees had no IT upgrades planned because “constant updates were causing employee stress, slowdowns, and program malfunctions.” Unfortunately, those also sound like the symptoms of working with equipment that is not updated and upgraded. That is surely a catch-22 for anyone in IT.
The rest of our respondents were undeterred. Almost half (49 percent) were planning to upgrade hardware. Security and backup projects were in the works for 27 percent of the companies surveyed. And 13 percent were putting IT budget into moving to the cloud.
Hardware upgrades, security and backup projects, and moving to the cloud were attracting the lion’s share of investment.
Budgets ranged in size from less than $10,000 to over $200,000. The smallest budget range was the most active, with 36 percent of projects coming in at under $10,000. But 10 percent of projects were expected to cost more than $200,000, an equivalent number as were expected to come in at $10,000 and 50,000.
|Category||Percentage of respondents with a major project in that category|
|Move to cloud||27|
Unsurprisingly, the most frequent reason cited for the planned projects was replacing outdated, slow-running equipment. The reason for the decision was (also unsurprisingly) often given as the downtime caused by old, unstable hardware.
Among those who did not have significant projects planned for this year, there were still concerns. There was frustration at the delay in being able to move to the cloud. And there were concerns about security.
Those who are not in a position to invest in 2016 are worried about their systems running slow or failing in the face of the growing expectations placed on them.
Security was most likely to come up as the number one concern for companies with fewer than 20 employees. The survey did not ask why, but it seems reasonable to speculate that smaller companies are increasingly realizing that they can be targeted too. That being the case, it is likely more than a few of our respondents are playing catch-up when it comes to their investment in security.
Companies of fewer than 20 employees were just as likely as larger companies to have a security project planned for this year.
This might also tie in with some cloud-based projects. Protecting data is necessary and increasingly skilled work. In some scenarios, the cloud offers the safer option. Agility was the primary perceived benefit of the cloud in the past. It might be that the cloud of the future is chosen more often for security than for agility.
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