IT departments gear up for breakthrough initiatives in 2019, report says

Moving into the new year, organizations are increasing IT budgets and executing new digital projects.

Video: How to drive business value in IT At the 2017 Midmarket CIO Forum, Sean Burkett of Info-Tech Research Group explained how to better prioritize IT initiatives to meet business needs.

The majority (57%) of organizations are increasing IT budgets in 2019, according to TEKsystems' annual IT Forecast report released on Tuesday. The report surveys IT leaders across all major industries to determine the key issues and goals going into 2019.

IT budgets in 2019 are predicted to surge, according to the report. The percentage of IT leaders increasing their budgets have hit the highest level since 2014, with previous years dipping downward. However, the report indicates this previous decrease was due to companies ramping up new initiatives; the increase in spending for 2019 shows that companies plan on executing these plans, according to the report.

SEE: Digital transformation in 2019: A business leader's guide to future challenges and opportunities (Tech Pro Research)

IT departments' confidence in supporting new initiatives shoots up in 2019, with 64% of IT leaders reportedly feeling positive in their departments' abilities. Additionally, 77% of IT professionals are also confident in their abilities to satisfy line-of-business going into the new year, according to the report.

With this confidence in tow, IT leaders refer to 2019 as the "implementation phase" for new projects, the report found. The initiatives IT professionals reported as leading the movement include security (79%), cloud computing (73%), mobile applications (71%), agile and scrum (63%), and big data (58%), according to the report.

In order to make 2019 as innovative as possible, IT teams said they aim to deliver new products and services (29%), new IT applications and infrastructure (33%), while still improving existing ones (37%). However, these organizations will only successfully do so if they have the technology capable of delivering such solutions, according to the report.

Some of the biggest challenges moving forward have increased, the report found. Organizational alignment—in reference to meeting goals and objectives—was the top challenge in 2018, and will remain the top challenge in 2019 (29%). Governance of IT project flow (20%) and effective IT skills (20%) are also among top business concerns, which means IT departments need to remain focused on successful initial execution, rather than the later planning stages, according to the report,

Check out this Techrepublic article for tips on how to be a successful IT leader.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • 64% of IT leaders are confident in their teams' abilities in executing business initiatives moving into 2019. — TEKsystems, 2018
  • The biggest challenges for IT professionals in 2019 include organizational alignment (29%), governance (20%), and IT skills (20%). — TEKsystems, 2018

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By Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.