Reports show that for most companies, the IT budget is growing or at least staying flat – however, many have to use that extra money to fix aging infrastructure that is in need of an upgrade.
More than a third (38%) of companies say their networking budget has increased compared to last year, according to a recent report from research firm TheInfoPro. Just 23% say the budget has decreased, leaving 39% with no change.
Though the net gain is promising, IT budget growth has slowed down since last year, when 48% of companies reported an increase.
Where are companies spending the money they’ve got in the IT budget? Unfortunately, most organizations have to use those funds to play catch-up and upgrade aging pieces of their IT infrastructure. Over the past few years, companies have been forced to trim the IT budget, and therefore had to skip making key upgrades.
Among the 155 networking pros interviewed for the report, the biggest challenge they’re currently experiencing is dealing with aging hardware and struggling to keep current with new technology, cited by 28%. That was closely followed by problems with meeting user expectations for performance and reliability.
Many of the projects organizations plan on completing should help meet those challenges. The most common projects planned by respondents are:
- A core routing and switching upgrade (cited by 29% of network managers)
- Upgrades to wireless networks (14%)
- General hardware refresh (13%)
- VOIP implementation (12%)
- Wireless LAN rollouts (9%)
- Network expansion (7%)
- WAN optimization (6%)
- Network security (6%)
- Consolidation (6%), and
- VPN implementation (5%)
In addition to having to replace aging hardware and other network components, many upgrades are being forced by new IT trends, especially the growth of IT consumerization and BYOD programs. In particular, many organizations have found they need to reinforce their wireless networks in order to accommodate the flood of new handheld devices users are bringing in to connect.