Year 2011 IT budget of India Inc to pursue growth: Gartner

After the 2008 recession, IT budgets became conservative, focused mainly on cutting costs. In 2011, India Inc’s IT budgets will focus on growth, according to Gartner.

Indian IT budgets for 2011 are likely to focus on driving new growth, suggests the 2011 CIO Agenda survey by Gartner Executive Programs. Indian CIOs’ IT budget projections for 2011 show a weighted average increase of 3.5%.

The top 36 Indian CIOs account for $1.2 billion worth of IT budgets. Out of these, 53% CIOs plan to increase spending, 42% plan to spend the same as they did last year, while 5% plan to decrease it.

Cloud services and mobile technologies are likely to be the two most-adopted technologies utilizing the IT budgets in 2011, according to the survey. These technologies offer the same level of service as in-house IT infrastructure, but at lower IT budgets. The corresponding business priorities for CIOs are increasing business growth, and improving business continuity, risk and security.

Mark McDonald, group vice president and head of research for Gartner Executive Programs, says that “lighter-weight technologies” such as cloud computing, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and social networks, will help CIOs to “redefine IT, giving it a greater focus on growth and strategic impact” in 2011.

The idea is that these internet-based technologies are a fresh new territory with unseen and unexplored possibilities. CIOs can now “re-imagine IT”, seek new ways of using IT in their businesses. “Over the next five years,” starting from 2011, “CIOs expect dramatic changes in IT as they adopt new technologies and raise their contribution to competitive advantage,” informs McDonald.

The survey also reports that in 2011, IT departments may be able to retain their IT budget savings. Budget savings can then be channeled into infrastructure changes and new projects, rather than being returned to the company. This procedure is likely to remain standard until 2014, which is when Gartner foresees IT budgets regaining 2008 levels.

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