The annual State of IT report from our sister site, Spiceworks Ziff Davis (SWZD), is one of the best snapshots of what IT professionals can expect in the coming year. It covers everything from all the most popular technologies their CIO might be grilling them about to how most IT organizations will be allocating their budget funds.
The survey ran in July 2021 and collected responses from 1,145 IT buyers across Europe and North America. SWZD also hit the Asia Pacific (APAC) and Latin American (LATAM) regions, but it will be reporting that data separately.
As you’d expect, one key finding of the study is that the pandemic continues to stomp on-premises spending while giving cloud services a significant budget boost.
That’s not to say hardware spending will disappear. It’s still the most popular IT budget driver at 30% but its year over year (YoY) trend has fallen from 33% in 2020 to its current percentage. Meanwhile, the same time slice has cloud services rising from 22% to 26% and managed services jumping from 15% to 17%. And those numbers can change depending on the size of the organization. For example, enterprise-size companies are expected to spend up to 21% on managed services in 2022, while small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are expected to spend only 14%.
A very interesting trend is that IT departments will also have more money in 2022, which is again likely because the pandemic is forcing them to restructure to remote IT management. In 2020, 44% of companies saw an increase in their IT budgets, but that’s jumped considerably for this report to an average of 53%. The extra money seems to be coming from some much-needed revenue optimism, with 67% of US businesses (and 57% of European companies) expecting revenue to increase in 2022. Conversely, only 11% of European companies (and 6% in the US) expect a revenue decrease.
What’s driving all that additional spend? Last year, the report would have shown a need to modernized out-of-date technology. But while that’s still a key driver, it fell to second place this year, with 47% of respondents claiming this as their primary driver. What took its place is a jump in supporting new IT projects, which came in at 49%. Once again, this is probably another COVID-19 factor, since it encompasses the need to combine hybrid work and cloud-service architectures.
The pandemic continues to be a budget driver in general, with more than a third of companies saying their IT budgets are getting this new infusion for reasons that in some way relate to COVID-19. That includes new tech adoption trends, which the report shows are finally starting to rebound from a stagnant state in 2020. Desktop as a service (DaaS) is a great example with almost no respondents citing it as an upcoming IT project in 2020 compared with an eye-opening 51% in 2022. 5G technology has also seen a prioritization boost, going from 38% in 2020 to 44% in 2022, though this might also be because there are simply more 5G service available now.
The most re-prioritized IT technology for 2022 is IT automation. This was at 70% in 2020 and then dropped to just 61% in 2021, but it’s now back up to 71% for 2022. Internet of Things (IoT) projects have also made a nice recovery. From their fall to 47% in 2021, they’re back up to their 2020 numbers with 54% of companies saying they’ll be renewing these efforts in 2022.
The State of IT report also tracks changes in IT hiring and career opportunities. These have shifted dramatically during the pandemic, with 61% of enterprises saying they’re looking to hire more staff in 2022, while 30% of SMBs say the same. Remote work plays a big role here, too, with 27% of IT professionals saying they’re still working from home on a temporary basis, while 11% say that switch is now permanent for them. Finally, keep a close eye on your IT staff next year as 17% of IT pros also said they’d be looking for a new job while 14% said they’d already accepted one.
This is only a small snapshot of key trends shown in SWZD’s 2022 report, so if you want even more insight, you can download it for free.