2020 Business IT Trends | Annual Report

Security is a top motivator across all areas

Discover where small to medium businesses are planning to invest their technology budgets. How do your plans stack up?

In December 2019, we surveyed businesses across all major industry verticals about their technology budgets and spending priorities for 2020. The survey shows that security is of high importance across all areas, though IT purchasing decisions are solidly based on real-world issues. New technologies are important, but so is traditional infrastructure. This report identifies the key trends in the data and provides commentary to place the findings within a broader industry context.

Main Themes

Security is now much more important

Investment in security systems is growing at a faster rate than most other areas of technology. Every question in the survey that touches on security shows massive growth. All areas of security expenditure are growing, and as technology evolves awareness of the issues increases. But many organizations are relying too strongly on a piecemeal approach, introducing point solutions on a tactical basis rather than adopting a proactive and integrated information security strategy.

Organizations are investing heavily in on-premise hardware and software

The biggest areas of investment are in the traditional areas of hardware and software. Desktop and laptop PCs dominate hardware investment, followed by servers. Expenditure on software is occurring across the board, with core infrastructure investments being the most important element. At the top of both hardware and software investment plans is security, which has become of paramount importance.

IT budgets are increasing, even in hard times

IT budgets are increasing, across virtually all product areas. Some organizations are cutting back overall, but they are vastly outnumbered by those increasing their IT spend. Investment in core systems is particularly healthy, indicating the importance of IT in most organizations’ strategic plans. In most cases their IT expenditure is based on business needs and is generally not driven by vendor hype or unrealistic expectations.

IT investment is driven by necessity, not hype

The top two drivers for IT investment are the related factors of the upgrade/refresh cycle and end-of-life. Refresh cycles vary by technology and are often constrained by overall IT budgets, however the cycle is never-ending. Moore’s Law ensures hardware continues to improve, and new software releases enhance functionality, often taking advantage of improvements in hardware.

Key Takeaways

Security is a continual theme.

There is a reason ‘Security’ is still an IT buzzword: Security scares people and companies alike. Privacy and data security are increasingly important, as new regulations come into play and businesses become compliant. For all businesses in the cybersecurity space, now is the opportunity to sell those services and/or solutions. Additionally important is software and hardware that can keep up with increased security requirements such as encryption, speed and more.

Despite hard times, IT budgets remain on the rise

Businesses are still dedicating dollars to their IT budgets. It is proving to be an important area of investment for companies, as they move (or finalize their move) to the cloud, or double-down on their security measures. Our findings show that most of these investments are directly correlated to their business needs (rather than hype). Bottom line: Businesses are open to investing in hardware or software for the right reasons.

On-premise hardware and software remain relevant

Admittedly, we were surprised by this one. As software advances, the platforms and hardware that are required to support it also need upgrading. As such, companies are still anticipating purchasing on-premise hardware, despite everything seeming to be moving more towards the cloud. Businesses of all sizes need to be able to meet new technology goals with updated PCs and servers!

Not everyone is an ‘Early Adopter’

“Wow factor” is not really going to sell products. Necessity and logic will. We mentioned it earlier: As software requirements become more complex, the hardware that supports them will also need to improve – and sometimes vice versa. Businesses are basing their purchasing priority on their business needs, and they will be looking at hardware and software products to support those goals. They are not looking at what is ‘shiny and new’ – they’re looking at proven products that will be sure to deliver results.

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About this report

Every year, OneAffiniti likes to take the pulse of the IT plans of our customers and clients, as we work with thousands of companies across all major industry verticals. We like to inquire about future plans regarding their technology — how they plan on investing their IT budget, how they feel about current trends in the IT industry, and what their technology priorities for the upcoming year will be. As we are uniquely positioned to hear from so many companies of all different sizes, we achieve informative, helpful results each year.

The 2020 Business IT Trends Annual Report is based on an annual global survey conducted by OneAffiniti in December 2019. We collected responses from 726 individuals in IT decision-making or decision-influencing positions in North America, Australia/New Zealand (ANZ) and – for the first time – the United Kingdom (UK).

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