Some 200 chief information officers surveyed last month by US-based CIO magazine said they planned to increase their technology spending by 6.4% over the next 12 months, up from a 4.5% increase projected in July.
Those spending plans would mark the highest projected increase in IT spending since May 2002, according to the magazine's monthly poll.
The increase in spending reflected overall consumer confidence and the general mood about the economy - the perception that things are getting better, according to Gary Beach, group publisher at CIO.
Nine out of 10 chief information officers said they have an application backlog and 48% said the backlog was "significant".
The chief information officers also said their IT budgets increased an average of 2.8% during the previous 12 months, an improvement from the 1.3% increase reported in the July poll.
Security software continues to be the strongest sector, with about 51% of respondents planning to increase spending in that area, a decline from 52.2% in July. Only 2.5% intend to cut spending on security software, compared with 5.9% in July.
The outlook for computer hardware spending also improved month to month with 45.6% planning to spend more in the coming year, up from 44.3%. The number of those preparing to cut spending was down from the previous month to 15.5%.
The percentage of chief infomation officers increasing spending on infrastructure software was 28.6% in August, down from 33.2% in July.
The number of those planning to decrease infrastructure spending fell to 14.6% from 22% in July.
IT compensation costs, including salaries, benefits and bonuses excluding stock options, rose by an average of 2.7% in the 12 months ending in August, down from 3.3% in July, but up from 2.3% a year ago. And 5.9% of respondents reported IT professionals were hard to find and retain, down from 6.3% last month and 8.3% a year ago.
The CIO magazine monthly Tech Poll gauges technology growth trends and assesses their impact on the overall economy.
The chief information officers, 96% of whom were in North America, answered questions on overall existing and projected IT budgets.
Also covered are future spending plans for IT hardware, software, services and Internet initiatives.
Linda Rosencrance writes for Computerworld