Security, Disaster Spending Increases in IT Budgets

A survey of network IT executives for Network World found that network budgets will increase by nearly 4 percent in 2002.

The survey, which was conducted by Research Concepts, was based on a random sample of nearly 600 Network World subscribers. It found that, on average, network IT budgets are going up by 3.9 percent in 2002.

Forty-two percent of the companies with network budgets are predicting an increase in 2002, while 30 percent said their budgets will be flat, and 28 percent are facing budget cuts. The results also indicate a major shift in spending toward network security and critical new areas including disaster recovery, storage, wireless and up-and-coming sectors such as remote access/teleworking and videoconferencing.

More than 62 percent of the IT professionals surveyed said security will receive more money in 2002, while disaster recovery was listed by nearly 45 percent of those surveyed. Forty-four percent said storage will be allocated more money; 40 percent said wireless would receive additional funding; and 37 percent named remote access/teleworkers as receiving more money than in previous years. More than one-quarter (26 percent) said they will invest more in videoconferencing.

It is also interesting to note that nearly 40 percent of the respondents said they will spend more on labor costs next year and nearly 30 percent of those respondents surveyed said they will expand regular staff. Only 16 percent said they will reduce regular IT staff, while 55 percent said there will be no change.

Nearly one-third (32 percent) of the respondents said they’ll be spending more on disaster recovery because of the Sept. 11 attacks, and 33 percent said they’ll increase security spending. Seventeen percent plan to boost videoconferencing and 14 percent are looking at increased remote access investments specifically because of the events of Sept. 11.

A pair of studies by META Group subsidiary Metricnet offered proof of just how much attention has been focused on IT security in the wake of Sept. 11. In a study that ran before Sept. 11, Metricnet found that more than 80 percent of companies were spending between 0 and 5 percent of their IT budgets on security. A study completed in November found that 33 percent of companies are spending more than 5 percent to secure their information assets.

Another Metricnet study found that 62 percent of respondents have increased their disaster recovery spending by 0 to 2 percent, and 38 percent have increased spending more than 5 percent.

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