Gartner predicts IT spending to grow slower than expected

Good news for IT departments on a tight budget (and really, which aren’t?). Gartner analysts say IT spending won’t grow as much as expected this year. 

Analysts originally predicted spending would grow by 3.2% this year. But they’ve adjusted that number down to 2.1% industry-wide.

Where the growth will be

That’s not to say that every area will be seeing diminished growth. Enterprise software is set to grow by 6.9%, the fastest growing segment by far. Gartner attributes this to database management software and application suites driving that growth.

Also rising at a respectable 3.8% is IT services.

What’s slowing growth

One area that’s not seeing much growth is equipment. Computer, tablet, phone and other hardware prices held pretty steady at 1.2% growth.

This is likely due to prices being kept low on the consumer level, deflating the prices for business as well.

Getting support and funding

No matter whether your budget is stagnant, growing or shrinking, chances are you’ll have to fight for every dollar IT can get. That’s made all the more difficult by the fact that while IT’s responsibilities are growing, the budget doesn’t always have that same flexibility.

Here are four keys to getting the support your department needs.

  1. Show the hidden costs. The biggest of these: the cost of inaction. IT is in the tough spot of needing to prove not only its own worth, but what could happen without further investment. Your best bet is to not overstate things. Don’t tell them the sky will fall if the funding doesn’t come, but make them realize it’s a calculated risk that could wind up being the difference between profitability and loss (or worse).
  2. Show the savings. Chances are you’ve made improvements somewhere along the line that have saved your company time, money and headaches. Share those successes with the top brass to show that you’re interested in protecting the company, not the cost-center that IT unfairly gets the rap for being.
  3. Ask before you need it. Plant the seeds early. If you’re coming up on end-of-life for a server, for instance, don’t wait until it’s on its last legs to ask for a replacement. Ask for non-urgent requests well in advance so that even if it gets turned down the first time, they’ll know it’s going to be needed eventually.
  4. Get their input. Before making asks, find out what the decision-makers’ top priorities are. If they’re worried about data breaches or security incidents, factor that into your requests. If they have other priorities, such as boosting efficiency, take that into account as well.