Most UK CIOs expect bigger budgets this year

Nearly three-quarters of CIOs expect their IT budgets to increase this year.

About 70% of CIOs in large companies believe their departmental budgets...

Nearly three-quarters of CIOs expect their IT budgets to increase this year.

About 70% of CIOs in large companies believe their departmental budgets will rise over the next 12 months, with more than half expecting an increase of above 10%, according to a survey from IT consultancy Xantus.

Over the past two years many IT departments have seen their budgets reduced or frozen. But Mike Bell, CIO of retail company Kingfisher, said spending money on IT is essential for future growth. "There is no money to be made by holding [cash] in the bank," he said.

However, IT departments remain cautious. Steve Watmough, CEO of Xantus, said, "Corporate and IT leaders still need to drive their businesses efficiently [particularly as] a low-growth environment is likely to continue for some time yet in the UK and beyond."

Cloud computing will play a key role in keeping down costs, according to 43% of the 50 top CIOs surveyed.

But despite the anticipated boost in IT investment, less than half of those surveyed think their departments are fully prepared to support expansion, with legacy hardware cited as the biggest obstacle.

The news follows the release of official figures last week which showed UK GDP growth of 1.1% in the second quarter - the fastest quarterly expansion since 2006.

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