The uncertainty of COVID-19 continues to impact how businesses allocate their budget dollars.
How COVID-19 affects IT priorities and where businesses plan to spend their tech dollars was the topic of a recent TechRepublic Premium survey. TechRepublic Premium surveyed 122 SMB decision-makers about their 2022 IT budgets and compared the results to a similar survey conducted last year about their 2021 IT budgets.
This year’s report revealed that not only will the remote workforce remain in place for many businesses, but it will influence network security, digitalization, cloud and remote technology spending.
The survey asked the following questions:
Expect 2022 to be a year packed with conservative spending for IT. Of survey respondents, 43% said they will tighten their budgets because of COVID-19. While this number represents almost half of the survey respondents, it is lower than last year, when 62% of respondents forecasted tightening their budgets. Also noteworthy, 21% of respondents said that COVID-19 had no effect on their 2021 IT budgets. This number rose slightly to 23% for 2022.
Despite businesses shifting dollars and practicing more controlled spending, IT budgets will see increases in network and internet security for 27% of respondents and remote IT technology for 22% of respondents due to COVID-19. Interestingly, these two spending priorities flip-flopped from last year. In 2021, 26% of survey respondents planned to spend more on remote IT technology, and 22% reported spending more on networks and internet security because of COVID-19.
More specifically, the top IT budget priorities for fiscal calendar year 2022 are improving network and internet security, cloud services, digital transformation and employee training, according to respondents. For the most part, these mirror last year’s survey results. Implementing remote technologies for employees was the one noticeable difference year to year. Only 8% of survey respondents said that this will be an IT priority for 2022. In 2021, implementing remote technology was a priority for 13% of respondents.
Further, 20% of respondents anticipate that their organization's fiscal/calendar year 2022 budget will be less than $50,000, which is up from 16% last year. Eighteen percent predict budgets of $1 million to $9.9 million, 13% foresee budgets between $10 million and $49.9 million, and 4% believe their budget will exceed $250 million.
To read all of the results from the survey, plus analysis, download the full TechRepublic Premium report: 2022 IT Budget Research Report: COVID-19 prompts organizations to tighten budgets.