Information technology spending continues to be a critical priority for small to midsize businesses. An August 2018 survey of 500 SMB executives by Deloitte revealed that 57% of the respondents are planning to spend more on IT this year than they did in the past year. In fact, a third are planning to spend at least 5% of their entire annual company revenue on hardware, software, and other IT projects.

Not surprisingly, almost half of the executives responding to the survey believed their plans for increased IT spending would also require the hiring of new personnel, particularly in operational areas. However, the realities of the current labor market, where the supply of qualified operational IT candidates is limited at best, means recruiting for open positions will likely be difficult and problematic.

SEE: IT project management: 10 ways to stay under budget (free TechRepublic PDF)

Survey results

An August 2018 survey conducted by Tech Pro Research, TechRepublic’s premium sister site, supports the Deloitte survey with results that also show that more than half of the responding IT professionals plan for their organization to dedicate more funding to IT in 2019. Some 44% of the respondents ranked internal employee training and development as a critical priority.

Of course, finding operational personnel with both technical and financial training and experience is particularly difficult, but it’s critical to organizational success. An IT finance manager, for example, is responsible for overall IT department fiscal accountability and for extracting maximum value out of an enterprise’s technology investment, which is often considerable and, according to the cited surveys, on the increase. Qualified candidates with those kinds of credentials are not likely to be plentiful.

Finding, recruiting, and eventually hiring qualified people for operational IT positions takes a coordinated effort from both human resources and hiring executives. Tech Pro Research offers many hiring kits to help with recruitment, including one for the IT finance manager/budget director position. These hiring kits are customizable and can be modified to meet the requirements of your organization.

SEE: Digital transformation research report 2018: Strategy, returns on investment, and challenges (Tech Pro Research)

Maximizing value from IT spending in terms of productivity, security, and accountability is essential for SMBs looking to create a competitive advantage. As recent surveys of IT executives show, achieving such an advantage requires commitment, personnel, and a workable budgetary plan–none of which is easily achieved without organizational coordination.

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Your thoughts

Does your organization plan to spend more on IT this year? What areas and why? Share your thoughts and opinions with your peers at TechRepublic in the discussion thread below.