Survey: CEOs plan to boost tech spending, despite economic concerns

A new report says businesses will be hesitant to boost spending this year – but IT may have an easier time getting a budget increase than other departments. 

Most CEOs (85%) believe their organizations will be negatively impacted by a recession in 2012, according to a recent Gartner survey.

That’s making most organizations hesitant about how they manage their budgets, according to the poll of 220 CEOs from around the globe.

However, there was some good news, at least for IT leaders: More than twice as many organizations plan to increase their IT spending this year than said they will reduce investments in technology.

One reason: Organizations in the survey listed growth as their top priority, and growing a company requires robust IT support and infrastructure. The CEOs surveyed recognize that, and in fact, when asked if they could think of a company they admired for using technology to gain a competitive advantage, 90% of executives said they could.

Where will organizations prioritize their IT investments? Customer relationship management (CRM) systems topped the list for the CEOs surveyed. Newer technologies such as cloud computing and mobile applications and devices are also being looked at closely.

One thing many companies still need to work on to make IT investments pay off, according to Gartner, is finding the right ways to use information to gain advantages over competitors and grow the business. More and more information is becoming available to businesses, and the companies that are the most successful will be those that find out how to use it.

The first step: gathering the right data. CIOs and IT managers should be asking their company’s top executives what information the organization needs and finding ways to gather and analyze that data, Gartner says. When asked what information they’d like their firms to have, CEOs gave a variety of answers. IT must find out what’s needed most for their businesses and come up with an appropriate strategy.