VERNON HILLS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to the latest CDW IT Monitor, optimism continues to build among IT decision-makers, as half anticipate overall budget increases in the next six months, while only 8 percent expect budget cuts. Led by a strong increase in anticipated spending among government IT decision-makers, the IT Growth Monitor composite score rose to 76, up one point from December 2011.*
Overall, anticipated hardware spending held steady at 91 percent, with government IT decision-makers experiencing a five percentage point jump since December (87 percent). While a large majority of IT decision-makers are planning hardware investments in the next six months, 73 percent say they will upgrade existing hardware. In general, demand for software among IT decision makers was down five percentage points to 85 percent, despite a three percentage point increase among government IT decision-makers. Software spending on new assets was also down, falling four percentage points to 47 percent.
The IT solutions spending outlook remained steady overall. A 10 percentage point increase in demand from government IT decision-makers offset a drop among corporate IT decision-makers. Of those planning to spend on IT solutions in the next six months, virtualization (52 percent), networking (45 percent) and security (43 percent) were the top priorities.
While anticipated IT hiring held steady at 23 percent overall, small and large-size businesses foresee a hiring increase of two and three percentage points, respectively. The public sector anticipates hiring increases of three-to-six percentage points over the next six months. Demand is highest for programmers/developers/engineers (57 percent) and analysts (55 percent).
Small Business, Local Government See Biggest Jumps in Anticipated Spending
Small business and local government IT decision-makers were the only groups that experienced double-digit growth in anticipated budget increases, both jumping 15 percentage points to 50 and 36 percent, respectively. In addition, those small business and local government IT decision-makers considering large investments increased 10 and 17 percentage points, respectively.
On the hardware front, small business and local government IT decision-makers expressed optimism in anticipated hardware investments, reporting five and seven percentage point increases over December 2011. Expected spending on new hardware assets also grew among both groups, with small business increasing five percentage points to 29 percent and local government increasing three percentage points to 14 percent.
Despite a five percentage point drop in anticipated software investment overall, demand from local government IT decision-makers increased five percentage points to 79 percent. Anticipated IT solutions investment from local government increased 17 percentage points to reach 43 percent, bringing IT solutions demand from the public sector to an all-time high. This optimism carried over into hiring, as local government and small business IT decision-makers report three and two percentage point increases, respectively, over the next six months.
“We are very encouraged to see a tremendous amount of optimism from small business and local government IT decision-makers. Small business is considered a key driver of our economy,” said Neal Campbell, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, CDW. “We anticipate that as the economic environment continues to improve, organizations will confidently invest in technology services and solutions to increase productivity, efficiency and gain additional advantages over their competitors.”
Increased Optimism in Key Sectors
Of the sectors surveyed, the information technology industry was most optimistic about IT budget increases in the next six months (59 percent), followed closely by the healthcare industry (53 percent). Anticipated hardware and solutions investments by the IT industry grew six and seven percentage points respectively to reach 97 and 61 percent. On the hiring front, the IT and healthcare industries were most optimistic about their six-month staffing outlook, projecting six and seven point increases in hiring, respectively.
Use of Tablet Computers, Smartphones in the Workplace is the Real Deal
Results from the latest CDW IT Monitor indicate that nearly six in 10 organizations use tablet computers. While more prevalent among medium and large-size businesses (62 percent), nearly half of small businesses reported tablet use (47 percent). Among government IT decision-makers, tablets were more commonly used at the state level (59 percent) than the federal level (48 percent). While the popularity of tablets has grown steadily, only 19 percent of IT decision-makers reported that tablets have replaced some of their organization’s personal computers. Among those not currently using tablets, 31 percent plan to do so in the next six months.
Nearly three-quarters of the IT decision-makers surveyed thought that the use of tablets and smartphones has led to an increase in productivity within their organization. Of those, 25 percent said there was a significant increase in productivity. Further, half of all IT decision-makers felt that the use of tablets and smartphones has led to cost savings in their organization. Among large businesses, 64 percent of IT decision-makers reported that consumer technology adoption has led to cost savings. Forty-two percent believed they experienced significant cost savings.
Organizations employing tablets reported using them in a variety of ways. The most common use is for sales or sales representatives (48 percent), followed by replacing printed materials (36 percent) and workgroup collaboration (32 percent). Overall, the Apple iOS operating system is most preferred with 61 percent of IT decision-makers choosing it. The Android operating system (24 percent) and Blackberry Tablet OS (9 percent) followed as distant second and third preferences.
“Tablet computer data uncovered in the latest IT Monitor proves that tablets and other consumer technologies certainly have their place in the work environment,” said Campbell. “As more organizations allow tablet computers and smartphones in the workplace, it will be important for IT decision-makers to ensure the technology can truly improve productivity, be integrated into their IT infrastructure, and be protected through IT security solutions.”
For more information about the sentiment of IT decision-makers, please visit www.cdwitmonitor.com.
*Editors Note: There were two significant changes to the CDW IT Monitor effective in April 2012. The first change is that IT solutions was added to the IT Growth Monitor index to capture an even broader view of the market. Data on anticipated IT solutions spending is now factored in a composite score, along with IT budgets, hardware purchases, software purchases and staffing.
The second change is that screening for IT decision-makers from small business has been revised to ensure that small businesses active in the IT market are better represented within the IT Monitor. Effective April 2012, small business respondents must be from firms employing between 10-99 employees.
For comparison and tracking purposes, previous waves of the IT Monitor have been recalibrated (excluding microbusinesses and including solutions as part of the IT Growth Monitor). In this way, data can accurately be compared.
About the CDW IT Monitor
The CDW IT Monitor was created by CDW, and research and analysis is conducted by independent polling firm Richard Day Research of Evanston, Ill. At the center of the CDW IT Monitor is the Six Month Growth Outlook, an index number, which registered an initial benchmark reading of 63 in December 2007. Results are calculated on a scale of 0-100, with 100 indicating the highest level of confidence. Future readings of the CDW IT Monitor will continue to yield comparisons to previous scores, allowing for an interpretation of the direction of sentiment in the IT marketplace.
Decision-makers are invited from two large national panels of IT decision-makers built and maintained by Research Now and Survey Sampling International. Data reported in this release are based on a survey of 1,068 IT decision-makers conducted between April 3 and April 10, 2012. Sampling is designed to reflect a broad spectrum of IT decision-makers among all sizes of companies, multiple industries, and across three levels of government. For the purposes of the CDW IT Monitor, company sizes are defined as: small (10-99 employees), medium (100-999 employees) and large (1,000 or more employees).
Data are weighted to ensure that CDW IT Monitor calculations closely represent the overall population of corporate and government employers in terms of size, based on the number of employees. Corporate data are weighted according to U.S. Economic Census data, and government data are weighted according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual survey of government employment. The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 3 percentage points overall, +/-4 percentage points for the business sector, and +/-6 percentage points for government.
CDW is a leading provider of technology solutions for business, government, education and healthcare. Ranked No. 32 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies and No. 270 on the FORTUNE 500, CDW features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company’s solution architects offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its technology engineers assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of expertise include software, network communications, notebooks/mobile devices, data storage, video monitors, desktops, printers and solutions such as virtualization, collaboration, security, mobility, data center optimization and cloud computing. CDW was founded in 1984 and employs more than 6,800 coworkers. For the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2012, the company generated net sales of $9.8 billion. For more information, visit www.CDW.com.
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