For the third consecutive month, CIOs are predicting increased IT spending during the next 12 months, according to the latest CIO Magazine Tech Poll released Monday. Respondents to the magazine"s April poll predicted a spending growth rate of 7.9 percent during the next 12 months, up from the 6.4 percent growth rate they envisioned last month.
"This is the best month in terms of forecast in five months, and the biggest one-month jump in 15 months," said Gary Beach, group publisher at CXO Media Inc. "This poll was done right after the first quarter ended. We saw a decline in data in forecasting in the first quarter, but now CIOs are past the first-quarter jitters and are now ready to grow their businesses again."
Respondents also predicted growth in spending for security software, application software, infrastructure software, telecommunications equipment and data networking equipment.
In response to the April poll"s special question, a majority of CIOs (61.2 percent) said they consider their own IT infrastructure to be solid and a strong differentiator with other companies. Slightly more than 18 percent rated their infrastructure as average, meaning they are just getting by, while 9.6 percent said they view their IT infrastructure as both brittle and a potential corporate risk; 4.8 percent said they view their infrastructure as outdated and a significant corporate risk.
When asked about spending in eight specific IT categories, the average number of panelists who said they plan to increase spending during the next 12 months was 43.3 percent in April, up from 42.4 percent who said that in March. Only 14 percent said they plan to decrease spending, but that is still up from the 12.2 percent who predicted lower spending last month. Security software continues to be the strongest sector, with 58.7 percent of respondents predicting increases in security spending over the next year, up from 57.5 percent who said that last month.
Storage also continues to be a priority, with half of the respondents planning to increase spending in this category, the same as last month. And almost half of the panelists -- 49.2 percent -- said they plan to increase spending on computer hardware, down from 51.6 percent who felt that way in March. Almost 1 in 5, or 18.7 percent, expect to decrease IT hardware spending. That"s up from last month, when just 14.4 percent predicted they would cut hardware spending.
"The big take-away in terms of the product categories was the infrastructure software," Beach said. "Of the eight product categories, the infrastructure software category was at 43.3 percent, up from 40.2 percent last month. The 43.3 percent this month was the highest since June of 2002, when the number was 44.6 percent."