The CDW IT Holiday Wish List, Budget Forecasts
December 3, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IT products distributor CDW hosted its Partner Summit in Las Vegas in early November, and at the summit the company did a straw poll of the IT executives in attendance to get a sense of what kinds of products or services they had on their wish lists for 2008; it also did an online straw poll among CDW customers, and in both cases also asked IT personnel about their budgetary expectations for the coming year. Last week, CDW released a report on the findings of the two straw polls.
First and foremost, let’s talk about budgets. In the poll at the partner summit, 43 percent of the 266 IT executives who responded to the questions said they expected IT budgets in 2008 would be higher than spending levels in 2007, and an additional 9 percent said they would be “much higher.” IT executives seem to be getting the idea that excelling at IT is not the point when justifying it to management–even if it is crucial–with only 13 percent saying “technology leadership” was important, compared to 38 percent who cited increasing operational efficiency, 16 percent for competitive advantage, and 9 percent for expanding revenues.
In the online customer poll performed by CDW, 626 IT personnel participated and 59 percent of respondents indicated that their company was somewhat likely or extremely likely to increase their IT spending in 2008. Some 52 percent of those polled said that they expected their company was somewhat or extremely likely to increase investments in virtualization technologies–the most popular category–followed by 40 percent who cited expected investments in knowledge management products. And because companies are always looking to save a buck and employees are trying to balance complicated work and home lives, 28 percent of those IT executives polled by CDW said that they expected their companies would be somewhat or extremely likely to allow them to telecommute (sometimes called telework) in the coming year.
Now, here’s the wish list. About 27 percent of the executives polled said that if their senior management wanted to make their lives easier in 2008, they could hire more IT staff, and another 16 percent said they could use a larger IT budget (presumably meaning for hardware, software, and services). Interestingly, small companies cited budget issues more (21 percent said they wanted more dough compared to 15 percent asking for more staff) while larger companies wanted more people (31 percent asked for more IT staff compared to only 14 percent who asked for more budget). Poll takers also cited they wanted to be able to work from home or other locations, wanted more technology upgrades, more time to complete projects, more training, and yes, you guessed it, more time off.