IT Budgets in the time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak has taken an enormous toll across the world, the effects of which we are yet to comprehend. In addition to the human tragedy unfolding across most regions, societies and economies are struggling to cope with major losses and outages.


IT departments around the world are now being called upon to ensure vital data and services remain in place even in a time of crisis. Vendors too express great concern that an economy in freefall will have severe effects on IT budgets. 


To find out how much of an effect the economy has had on IT Budgets, Pulse collected data from 100 IT leaders across four days, suggesting that though preferences are changing, spending in itself remains robust among organizations. 

Breakdown on respondents 

*Data collected between 03/23/2020 and 03/26/2020

RESPONDENTS

LOCATION

COMPANY SIZE

A SEASON OF CHANGE

72% of IT leaders see their budgets increasing or remaining unchanged in the current economic crisis. 

IT BUDGETS DURING COVID-19: INCREASING OR DECREASING?

Despite early indications of a reduction in budget, over a quarter (25%) imagine the crisis will result in a 5-10% increase in budget.


Some are anticipating reducing their IT budget in the current climate. 11% see a larger than 10% decrease in their overall budget as a result of the economic downturn.

“There’s always money available to address true business pains. The crisis can expose pains or inefficiencies. People learn about inefficiencies in critical business operations as a result of those and want to go back and make some investments to address that.”


- Mark Settle, CIO Adviser (formerly of Okta)

SHIFTING SPENDING

The data suggests that many are now looking to spend more in the current climate. But where do their priorities lie in a time of workplace uncertainty?

One area of interest is around tools that allow for greater collaboration. When asked where IT leaders would prioritize their spending, 17% said they were shifting their spend to internal communication and collaboration tools. Another 13% are securing customer success by spending on customer communication and collaboration tools.

INTERNAL COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION TOOLS

CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION 

AND COLLABORATION TOOLS

When asked the same question, other IT executives also highlighted security as an important priority in an increasingly hostile environment. 14% are looking to spend on VPNs whereas 10% are investing in Data security tools.

VPNs

DATA SECURITY

Here are the other remaining spending priorities for IT executives.

REMOTE DESKTOP TOOLS

ENCRYPTED COMMUNICATION TOOLS

MOBILE SECURITY

SECURITY AWARENESS TRAINING

PASSWORD MANAGEMENT TOOLS 

ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE

Are IT leaders making purchases in excess of $100k in the next six months?

And though a recession would often have effects on spending, 36% still plan on making big purchases above 100k over the next 6 months.

COLLABORATIVE DECISION-MAKING

Decisions in this climate aren’t just a matter of top-down decision making. 64% are now making decisions through a combination of executive and end-user input when evaluating the IT needs of their organization, rather than being decisions just being made by executives (26%).

Collaboration extends to purchasing decisions as well where many are relying on community and industry to come to the right choice. 


28% of IT leaders rely on peer recommendations to make their purchasing decisions while 18% 

use online communities.

Timing is also crucial when making decisions with many  taking longer to make purchases. In this survey 36% of IT executives said that it takes over a month for their team to make a product purchasing decision. Another 28% made the same kinds of decisions between 1 and 4 weeks.

Many are expecting that, with a downturn in the economy, many full-time roles will be lost. The majority of respondents (43%), however, said they planned to make no such cuts. Another 32% were unsure what the next 6 months would bring and if cuts would follow.

In troubled times more organizations will place their trust in data to make sure they’re making the right purchases. Ensuring you have the right numbers is what Pulse does quickly and best.

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