The annual exercise of budgeting for technologies isn't always a welcoming task for most CIOs. The allocation of funds depends on the profits earned and the immediate need to scale and expand.
Irrespective of the size of the company, IT heads walk the tight rope in balancing IT budgeting and fulfilling the technology priorities of their organisations.
The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic forced the world to go into lockdown, and the immediate aftermath of the pandemic outbreak resulted in work from home becoming the new normal. While many companies shut shops, most of them are grappling to stay afloat while it's business as usual for some with the focus shifting to remote working - which remains one of the key IT challenges over the next year.
Though lockdowns have been lifted in most places, work from home has been considered as the safest option to ensure physical distancing and curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across sectors and sizes has forced CIOs to put on their thinking cap to effectively plan their IT spends to ensure business continuity, with undeterred attention and focus on remote working.
With the majority of employees in sectors such as IT, ITeS, BFSI, FinTech, e-Commerce, Healthcare, etc., are continuing to work from home, the task of enabling seamless and secure operations remotely and bringing about significant changes to their security requirements has put the CIOs on tenterhook in streamlining the IT budgets.
As talks of budget cuts continue among organisations, the ones who are resilient have gone a step ahead in allocating higher budgets for their IT infrastructure.
Enterprises are investing in personal computers, high-speed internet connectivity, virtual desktop infrastructure, security solutions, video conferencing tools, security firewalls, etc. to enable smooth remote working for its employees. This has driven companies to invest heavily in the cloud as well.
A Gartner CFO Survey reveals that 74% of companies it surveyed intend to permanently shift some employees to work remotely even after the crisis is over.
To allow employees to work efficiently from home, even small businesses have made a significant investment in technology.
"The COVID-19 pandemic will result in ICT spending in 2020 being flat compared to 2019 and kept afloat by growth in new technologies. In 2021 through 2023, overall ICT spending will grow by at least 5% annually due to continued expansion in new technologies while traditional ICT will continue to see the growth that tracks GDP. Growth in traditional hardware, software, and services will be driven by cloud and mobile and will maintain a stable share of the overall business and consumer spending. While some categories are declining, businesses continue to leverage traditional technologies as major components of digital strategies," IDC said in its Global ICT Spending -Forecast 2020 – 2023.
Going by the shift towards remote working, which many companies are looking at as a permanent option, enterprises are likely to increase their IT spends and continue to focus on building capacity to support virtual workspaces and ensure business agility, and continuity.