Kensington’s 2016 Voice of IT report identifies the key trends that are influencing businesses and their IT departments, and analyzes the factors affecting productivity, ergonomics and IT security.  As the importance of technology grows, IT departments have the opportunity to transform their business in the future, while also enabling day-to-day success and productivity. Here we look at the most important factors shaping IT budgets in 2016 and the chief constraints on investment.

Overall, the results of the survey revealed that IT professionals are facing a number of challenges as they seek to balance day-to-day needs and strategic priorities. Although 40{3bd8d559a10c7b53d43ee5a40432883f63579c4fd6edc8dac88954d74ee5f2b3} of respondents said they were set to increase investment in IT security and connectivity in 2016, the report suggests there is still more to be done, particularly when it comes to putting the case for IT strategic value and potential to increase productivity.


Kensington asked IT professionals in Australia, the UK and US whether they or their organization were planning to increase spending in 2016. According to the results of the survey, few organizations plan to decrease their IT budget in the year ahead. There were also some who were planning on increasing spending, particularly on security, digitalization, connectivity and employee set-up.   In Australia, for example, nearly half (47{3bd8d559a10c7b53d43ee5a40432883f63579c4fd6edc8dac88954d74ee5f2b3}) of those surveyed said they were planning to spend more on security in 2016, with the UK and US not far behind with 45{3bd8d559a10c7b53d43ee5a40432883f63579c4fd6edc8dac88954d74ee5f2b3} and 43{3bd8d559a10c7b53d43ee5a40432883f63579c4fd6edc8dac88954d74ee5f2b3}, respectively.

While security appears to be more of a concern in Australia, the picture is different for connectivity and workspace configuration. Here, organizations in Britain and the US lead the way. To give an example, only 22{3bd8d559a10c7b53d43ee5a40432883f63579c4fd6edc8dac88954d74ee5f2b3} of Australian respondents said they were planning to invest more in employee workspaces in 2016; this is compared to 35{3bd8d559a10c7b53d43ee5a40432883f63579c4fd6edc8dac88954d74ee5f2b3} of the American IT professionals who took part in the survey.  In general, respondents from the US and UK said they were planning to invest more heavily in employee connectivity and workspace configuration than their counterparts in Australia.


What else did the report reveal about IT budgets in 2016? One important insight relates to the perceived value of IT departments. Kensington asked IT professionals about the factors that limit their effectiveness. Tellingly, 40 per cent of respondents said that their department suffered because IT was still seen as a cost by executives, rather than an investment opportunity. Thus, where CIOs could be delivering innovation and improvements, they instead have to find ways of doing more with less. For example, 44{3bd8d559a10c7b53d43ee5a40432883f63579c4fd6edc8dac88954d74ee5f2b3} of respondents said they were frequently hampered by lack of time and/or resources, while 40{3bd8d559a10c7b53d43ee5a40432883f63579c4fd6edc8dac88954d74ee5f2b3} also said they were affected by inadequate spending on IT.

One anonymous IT professional said she had to balance “continually declining budget with increasing expectations”, while others complained of reduced budgets as a result of increasing dependence on consultants. These problems were common to all three of the countries that featured in the report, suggesting the scale of the challenge that CIOs face in delivering more secure and productive IT solutions in the year ahead.

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How have your budgets changed over the last few years? Do you feel as though there is enough weighting given to the IT department? Let us know your thoughts over on LinkedIn.

Continue reading our report summaries here.