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Over half of IT leaders in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg expect to have more to spend on IT this year, with digital transformation projects likely to be major beneficiaries of the extra cash.
According to the Computer Weekly/Tech Target IT Priorities 2020 survey, 55% of IT decision-makers in the Benelux countries expect budgets to increase this year. Almost a quarter (23%) think budgets will remain the same as last year, while only 11% are expecting a reduction in the amount of money they will have to spend.
The main areas where spending is expected to increase are digital transformation (47%), network infrastructure modernisation (45%) and cloud infrastructure deployment (44%) initiatives. These three areas of IT are intrinsically linked with digital transformation, relying heavily on cloud computing infrastructures, which themselves require modern IP networks to be optimised.
The survey revealed that 42% of organisations were at the early stages of digital transformation, with business, technical and cultural needs being assessed. These organisations expect to have formal digital transformation projects in place within the next 12 months. A total of 27% of respondent organisations said they were halfway through their digital transformations, while 13% were at an advanced stage. A total of 6% said they had not started such projects and 13% had no plans to.
In digital transformation projects, the deployment of technologies that improve employee productivity was the most common activity, with 45% of respondents revealing that they were implementing such projects. Breaking down data silos and increasing the use of cloud services were the next most popular activities, with 38% of respondents doing both.
The move to digital working involves increasing access to services for employees, customers and partners. For example, employees will expect to be able to work remotely in the same way they do in the office, customers might expect to be able to access services via the cloud, and suppliers might connect directly to customer businesses to make supply chains more efficient. All this requires a tightening up of security and a particular focus on user authentication.
It is hardly surprising, then, that 40% of Benelux respondents expect security budgets to increase and that identity and access control were the areas that Benelux survey respondents were most likely to monitor. A total of 50% of IT leaders in the Benelux region expect to implement multifactor authentication and 30% will invest in identity management.
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