According to PwC's Private Company Trendsetter Barometer, 233 CEOs/CFOs surveyed indicate plans to increase IT spending 19%, from 5.6% of their total budgets in 2010 to 6.6% over the next 12 months.
Even with the increases, senior executives remain frugal, focused on leveraging IT to drive and optimize business efficiency and effectiveness. IT priorities are foremost indicated to drive tangible Business Process Improvements (90%), and also drive improvements in performance monitoring, visibility and optimization, including initiatives to Better Manage Enterprise Data (75%) and Optimize Business Information/Analytics (73%).
The next highest indicated IT investment priorities focused on the ability to generate revenue opportunities and growth in a tough environment, including:
Key areas of planned IT investment over the next one to three years indicate that IT infrastructure upgrades indeed are a priority, with information security (70%) being the highest priority, and cloud computing (40%) within the top five focus areas. However, most of the priorities highlight the leverage of IT for business performance improvement, via next-generation data management and analysis (50%), enterprise mobility via tablets and handheld devices (48%), and social media/networking (46%).
Even though tough headwinds remain, Executives are shifting their focus from cutting costs to driving top-line growth, and turning to IT as a catalyst to drive business opportunities and growth, while continuing to drive business process improvements and improve visibility and performance optimization.
IT marketers should recognize the executive priority shift, evolving marketing messages and value propositions from a pure cost cutting focus towards a more balanced approach, especially including information on how proposed solutions / service can help drive revenue growth and competitive advantage.
Based on executive priorities, marketing should migrate messages and proof points to include: improving visibility and control, driving business agility, attracting new customer, better identifying needs of existing customers and devising more effective ways to sell and deliver products/services.