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European IT budgets expected to fall in 2016, research reveals

IT professionals in Europe anticipate their IT budgets decreasing by almost $700, according to a survey by Spiceworks

IT departments have plenty to plan for in 2016 with Windows 10 upgrades and Microsoft SQL Server and Server 2003 refreshes, yet their budgets are expected to barely budge over the coming year, according to a survey by Spiceworks.

While North American IT professionals anticipate a slight lift in their 2016 budget, European IT pros predict no increase at all.

The survey of more than 800 IT professionals on the Spiceworks social network revealed that 38% of IT professionals think their budgets will increase in 2016, while 42% believe there will be no change and 10% anticipate a drop in funds, with the other 10% not sure.

Globally, annual budgets for IT were expected to increase on average by just $2,000, from $291,062 in 2015 to $293,094 in 2016, while in Europe IT budgets were projected to decrease by an average of $668.

Despite this, the survey revealed that IT professionals have plans for major migrations in 2016, with 64% claiming that end of support for products would be the driving force behind new hardware, software and services spending.

A total of 60% of IT professionals surveyed said they do not expect their IT staff to increase in 2016.

According to Spiceworks, the top operating system initiatives for 2016 are upgrading to Windows 10 and migrating from Windows Server 2003. In addition, surveyed IT professionals who have allocated budget to operating system upgrades expect to upgrade older hardware during these projects.

Some 53% of European IT professionals said they plan to invest in Windows 10, which is 6% higher than the global average. Additionally, 28% said they are planning a Windows Server 2003 migration and 8% said they are planning a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 migration, which Microsoft will no longer support after April 2016.

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The largest chunk of IT budget – 37% – is expected to be spent on hardware, which is 4% less than in 2015. Software is predicted to account for 31% of IT spending, compared with 33% in 2015. Managed services spending is expected to increase by 3% to 13% in 2016, while cloud spending is set to increase by 2% to 14%.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, CIOs' IT budgets have also been heavily affected by the strong US dollar, which has made hardware 20% more expensive. Some IT departments have acquired servers in the current quarter to avoid even higher costs in 2016, when the strength of the dollar could increase further.

Meanwhile, the Spiceworks survey also revealed that 54% of IT professionals in Europe do not feel their organisation is adequately investing in security.

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