IT Buyers Plan More Spending, More Hiring in 2018

Winter is coming.

But the career outlook for IT pros is still warm and sunny, according to a new survey of projected technology spending in 2018.

The IT website Spiceworks asked nearly 1,000 technology buyers in North America and Europe about their budgets for the coming year, and the trends are extremely positive—more hiring and more spending.

IT budgets: Growth expected

In North America, 45 percent of IT pros believe their budgets will increase, while 40 percent said they expect no change in their IT budget. Moreover, only 12 percent said they expect their IT budgets to decrease.

The story is the similar in Europe: 44 percent of IT buyers interviewed foresee budgetary increases, while 46 percent expected no change, with just 9 percent predicting a decrease.

IT pros who expect budget increases forecast an average of 19 percent growth, which begs the question…

Where will IT pros invest?

According to the Spiceworks survey, 31 percent of IT professionals indicated they would spend budget increases on hardware (on desktops, laptops and servers, mainly) while 26 percent expected to invest in software, 21 percent in hosted/cloud-based services and 15 percent in managed services.

The Spiceworks survey broke down expected IT spending even further:

• Hardware: Desktops (17 percent), laptops (15), servers (13) and networking (8).
• Software: Operating systems (11 percent), security software (10), productivity software (10) and virtualization (9) were the top spending categories.
• Hosted/Cloud Services: Online backup recovery (15 percent), productivity solutions (10), email hosting (9) and web hosting (9) were the top targets.
• Managed Services: IT buyers would spend 12 percent on managed hosting solutions while managed storage backup (9 percent), managed hardware support and maintenance (9) and managed security (9) were also priorities.

Worldwide, hardware and software that is nearing the end of its life serves as the biggest influencer for new purchase, said respondents.

Wanted: IT professionals

With higher budgets leading to new hardware, software and services, the demand for IT professionals is going to remain high. 45 percent of IT businesses are expected to add staff in 2018, with most hiring coming in large enterprises. More than 60 percent of businesses with more than 500 employees indicated they would increase IT staff while 70 percent of businesses with 5,000 or more workers suggested the same.

Here is the complete Spiceworks State of IT Report.