New Enterprise Strategy Group Research Finds Technology Spending Will Rebound in 2021 as Firms Retool Business Processes
Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a leading technology analyst, research, and strategy firm, today released its 13th annual technology spending intentions survey. Based on a survey of 664 senior IT leaders across North America and Western Europe, the 2021 Technology Spending Intentions Survey analyzes private- and public-sector technology spending expectations for the coming year, the key business and technology priorities driving those spending plans, and year-over-year trends with respect to technology adoption and changing customer preferences.
Among this year’s key findings:
Enterprise tech spending is poised to rebound
- 60% of respondents expect that their organization’s 2021 technology spending will increase from 2020 levels. IT leaders are most likely to report planned spending increases in the areas of public cloud infrastructure and applications, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and digital collaboration.
- As organizations of all sizes and in all industries continue to respond to the global pandemic, accelerating digital transformation initiatives are boosting tech spending—survey respondents with significant digital transformation programs will increase spending this year at more than twice the rate of organizations that are still in the digital transformation planning phase (4.3% versus 2%, respectively).
The transition to remote work remains a contributing, but not the primary, driver of new spending
- While many organizations attribute increased 2021 spending to the ongoing tactical need to equip and support new ranks of remote workers, survey respondents were more likely to say that spending increases are the result of a broader, more strategic assessment and reinvention of their IT strategies for the long term—namely retooling IT infrastructure for more resilience and flexibility in the event of future business disruptions.
Cybersecurity is job number one
- IT and business leadership’s focus on cybersecurity is more apparent than ever, as firms and government agencies wrestle with threat vectors ranging from an increasingly distributed and remote workforce to major state-sponsored events such as the recently disclosed Sunburst hack.
- Among respondents to this year’s survey, strengthening cybersecurity tools and processes is considered the number one business driver behind technology spending over the next 12 months; is viewed as the top priority for IT leaders in 2021; and is also considered to be the most important justification that business executives are looking for in order to fund technology projects in the coming year. Consequently, two-thirds of organizations surveyed (66%) will further increase their cybersecurity spending in 2021 and an additional 31% will maintain their current investment levels.