TechRepublic and ZDNet launched their joint IT Priorities 2012 report, which provides a broad survey of US IT organizations and their current IT budget plans. You can think of this as our first annual health check on the current state of IT. Although we can’t give the patient a completely clean bill of health, there are definitely fresh legs that are ready for exercise.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • More than twice as many organizations report increased IT budgets in 2011 as report budget decreases
  • 38.7% of organizations say their IT budgets have increased, while just 16.7% report lower budgets. 44.6% say their budgets year- on-year were flat
  • Over 20% of organizations report budget increases of more than 10%
  • The top three IT priorities are improving business process and efficiency (a “top priority” or “major priority” for 69.1% of businesses), aligning IT priorities with business growth (61.1%) and increasing overall productivity with new technologies (59.5%)
  • The larger the business, the more focused they are on lowering IT infrastructure costs. 66.2% of the largest businesses (>500 staff) are lowering IT infrastructure costs, but this proportion declines for smaller companies until it represents only 44.4% of the smallest businesses (1-49 staff)
  • Government organizations are far more intent on cutting overall IT costs (70%) than others

My colleague, ZDNet Editor in Chief Larry Dignan, summed it the report like this:

“In this inaugural version of ZDNet’s U.S. IT Priorities report there are many common threads that add up to an enterprise tipping point. Technology budgets are flat to up a bit, but respondents would love to ditch their legacy gear and start fresh. The challenge for technology executives is clear: How do your lower costs to carve our the dollars needed to be a corporate hero? And to be that corporate hero technology execs have to be aligned with business priorities. If not, it’s safe to say that business units will ultimately control the technology budget. In fact, that movement is already happening.”

Download the full report.