Businesses are growing cautiously optimistic in their capacity to increase IT budgets, and, according to a recent CDW report, many are planning to make investments in new technology.
According to a survey of more than 1,000 IT decision-makers, 43 percent of businesses are planning to increase IT spending in the second half of 2011. However, CDW noted, this is a 5 percentage point decrease from just a year ago, suggesting that companies are still unsure of what the future holds.
Cited by 59 percent of respondents, virtualization is poised to see the most significant amount of new investment, while 56 percent said they would spend on cloud computing solutions. This seems to indicate that even as some businesses increase IT spending, they are looking for solutions that allow them to reduce costs in the long run.
Both virtualization and the cloud have been lauded for the capacity to enable businesses to save without having to sacrifice in terms of productivity. Additionally, the cloud's scalability and flexibility are seen as benefits for companies looking to reduce costs.
However, at the same time, the introduction of new technologies necessitates new security measures. According to CDW, data protection investments will represent the second highest priority for IT budgets this year, cited by 58 percent of respondents.
"From a business perspective, CIOs are interested in enabling a more mobile workforce in order to enhance productivity and provide flexibility," said CDW president and COO Thomas Richards. "However, they are challenged with making the disparate pieces work together and ensuring data security."
This focus on data security likely stems from recent cyber attacks and data loss incidents involving several high-profile companies, such as Toshiba and News Corp. However, some businesses are doing enough to lock down their security practices, and, as a recent Crossbeam study found, many are willing to sacrifice security for performance. In a study of 500 IT professionals and executives, 81 admitted to shutting down security systems to improve network performance.