If you’re an IT professional, the chaos and disruption of the past two years may have you approaching next year’s budget planning with something akin to dread. Digital technology has more than proven its worth in the scramble to make remote work feasible and secure, but the economic impact of recent events makes the rest of the C-suite nervous about investing in new digital transformation initiatives. How can you strike the right balance between innovation and caution in your 2022 IT budget?
Predictions for 2022
Starting with the good news, forecasts show an increase in IT budgets at a rate of 3.6% on average. CIOs and CFOs are teaming up to invest in data analytics, business intelligence tools, new cloud infrastructure, and cybersecurity. Key to these expanding budgets will be flexibility in adapting to changing business needs. Economic volatility is not expected to change anytime soon — with ongoing market fluctuations spurred by supply chain issues, labor shortages, adverse weather events, and of course, COVID-19. According to the Wall Street Journal, adaptable organizations can expect revenues to increase by 7.7% on average. Companies unwilling or unable to adapt to current conditions can still expect increases — of about 4% less on average. Despite ongoing volatility, 61% of companies predict overall revenues will increase next year.
Given rapid technology innovations and a chaotic global economy, what trends should the C-suite watch for in 2022?
What’s new for 2022?
The necessity for remote work has had some unintended consequences. IT teams, and anyone else whose work allows for it, prefer to continue working remotely — at least part of the time. If your company hasn’t already fortified cybersecurity defenses with end-to-end network security, now is the time to plan and budget for it.
IT labor shortages are another area of concern, and they pose real and potentially lasting problems for almost every industry. The latest data predicts one quarter of IT professionals plan to job jump in the next year — with 86% looking at remote work opportunities. Even the strongest teams are vulnerable in 2022 — especially if your business hasn’t embraced remote or hybrid work as the new normal. A robust hiring or outsourcing budget is priority for 2022.
Tech purchasing will also be a challenge next year. Be prepared for shipping delays, price increases, continuing supply chain problems, and shortages of equipment, tools, and even raw materials. Predicted budget increases may cover higher costs, but the real concern is whether there will be available supply to meet increasing demand. Flexibility, diversified supply sources, and strategic sourcing will be essential for 2022.
Is digital transformation still a priority?
Digital transformation initiatives will continue, but supply challenges and labor shortages may hamper your company’s efforts. MuleSoft has the following predictions and advice for 2022:
- Digital experience isn’t just for customers. Workplaces now require remote/hybrid infrastructure to deliver digital-first, omnichannel access for employees.
- Innovation will continue — as will the pressure to build more agile IT infrastructures.
- Business divisions will merge with IT in the “rise of the business technologist.”
- Digital transformation will be driven by hyper-automation in increasing efforts to boost productivity.
Anticipate — and budget for — an increase in hybrid distributed IT infrastructure with an even stronger focus on security and redundancy. With more remote and hybrid workers comes more use of digital collaboration platforms — which in turn means more stringent access control measures. Digital transformation remains predominant for 2022 and beyond, but many initiatives will, of necessity, be more practical than innovative in nature and focused on digitizing the customer and employee experiences.
Visit windzr.com to learn more about strategic budget planning for 2022 and beyond.