The General State of IT in 2018: Tech Trends, Stats, and Budgets

Spiceworks, a professional network for the IT industry recently released their annual report on IT budgets and tech trends. This endeavor attempts to discover how technology purchases will play out in the new year.

The report is based on a survey of over a thousand IT buyers across Europe and North America. These insights shed some light on data compliance, budgetary spending, technology adoption, and the general state of the industry.

IT budgets are expected to be more stable and grow in 2018

It’s been a long time since the days of the Great Recession and our current global economy is quite healthy. In the new year, profitable companies are expected to spread their wealth with as much as 60% of companies predicting a rise yearly revenues over the next year.

This is in line with 44% of IT departments who were expecting an overall increase in IT budgets in 2018. This number is quite significant when compared to the 11% who predicted a decrease.

The roll on effect here will be an increase in IT staffing with almost half the organizations surveyed looking to hire top talent. Only about 5% of those surveyed expected their IT departments to shrink in the new year.

That being said, growth will not occur proportionally. Next year, it’s predicted that only larger enterprises will grow their IT departments than smaller businesses.

There will be increased investment in cloud-based services

Enterprises have been getting onboard with cloud services for a number of years now and this trend shows no signs of slowing down or changing course. Most of the companies surveyed expected to increase their cloud spend by as much as 21% of their overall IT budgets.

However, these organizations also stated that they will spend 26% of their IT budgets on software and 31% on hardware. Cloud services companies, in particular, hope to allocate the largest portion of their budgets to include online backup/recovery at 15%, email hosting at 9%, web hosting at 9%, and online productivity software at 10%.

But why is everyone so eager to get on the cloud?

According to the results, 42% of respondents were attracted to the fact that they could access the data from anywhere. Another 37% were drawn to the flexibility and scalability of cloud platforms while 38% wanted enhanced disaster recovery capabilities.

Not many companies will be prepared for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR is a set of rules designed to protect the privacy and personal data of European Union residents and will become effective in May next year. However, the findings suggest that few companies will be prepared for GDPR.

As a result, many businesses can be left exposed to strict non-compliance penalties and enterprises around the world might have to cough up almost 4% of their annual revenue or €20 million (whichever is higher).

Most businesses that aren’t actively preparing for GDPR, particularly the ones based in the U.S., seem to be under the impression that the regulations don’t apply to them. Only about 31% of US-based companies have allocated funds to prepare for this.

Companies based in Europe are in far better shape with 56% having already allocated funds for GDPR compliance.

Enterprises are all on board with emerging technology

The report suggests that 29% of companies surveyed had already adopted internet of things (IoT) devices. Another 18% had implemented virtual reality while 13% incorporated some form of artificial intelligence (AI) into their business.

These figures are expected grow considerably over the next 12 months with 48% of businesses expected to adopt IoT devices. VR is expected benefit another 32% of companies and 30% are expected to utilize AI by the end of next year.

Relatively established technologies like software-defined storage, advanced security solutions, and IT automation are expected to become the norm in 2018. Furthermore, large enterprises are expected to expend more money and manpower to experiment with the latest cutting-edge technologies.

The findings mentioned above are just the highlights of the report, there’s a lot more information to dive into from software budget breakdowns to the use of managed service providers (MSP) and much more.

You can read the whole 2018 Spiceworks State of IT report here to get a complete picture of what to expect in the world of IT in the new year.

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Andrew is our IT storyteller and copywriter. His current undertaking is big data analytics and CSS as well as digital design and branding.
He is a contributor to various publications with a focus on new technology and marketing.

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