Survey: Corporate IT budgets looking good for 2011

Technology executives are seeing their budgets rising in 2011 and that money will be allocated to new projects, according to a Wedbush survey.

This is a guest post from Larry Dignan of TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Technology executives are seeing their budgets rising in 2011, and that money will be allocated to new projects, according to a Wedbush survey.

Wedbush surveyed 100 IT managers with decision authority on projects. Wedbush's findings indicate a penchant for cloud, virtualization, and collaboration projects. Even big software projects like enterprise resource planning implementations are showing some momentum.

Overall, companies are still cautious about the future, but they will spend on IT projects that matter. Among the key nuggets from Wedbush third-quarter sentiment report:

  • 77 percent of respondents expected IT budgets to rise 8 percent in 2011.
  • 66 percent of IT execs say that implementation of new software platforms were critical, up from 47 percent in the second quarter survey. SaaS, collaboration, HR, and ERP projects are all in demand and rated high-priority projects. Potential winners here include, SuccessFactors, Oracle, and SAP.
  • 59 percent of respondents said they would purchase tablets in the next year, but only 29 percent of those surveyed thought they would replace notebooks. PC demand appears to be solid in business technology.
  • 47 percent of respondents said it was critical to let employees choose their own smartphone, and enterprises are looking to support all phones. Winners here would include Apple and Android devices at the expense of Research in Motion.
  • 47 percent of those surveyed are upgrading to the latest Microsoft Exchange, and 23 percent are rolling out partial deployments. The big reason is Exchange support for multiple devices.
  • Network deployments such as security, routing/switching, collaboration, and performance management are all rated a top priority. Video and voice collaboration were also seen as critical projects by 61 percent of respondents. Winners may include Cisco and Polycom on that front.
  • 52 percent said that shifting data warehouse projects to appliance deployments was a big priority. Oracle's Exadata machine was rated a high priority by 45 percent of respondents.
  • WAN optimization was rated a high priority by 51 percent of IT decision makers. That's good news for Blue Coat and Riverbed.

Add it up, and it's a pretty positive view for enterprise IT going into budget season.