Western Europe’s financial services, utilities and sectors are the most confident in their business outlook, and therefore the most bullish on IT spending, according to new research from IDC.
The market research firm asked more than 4,000 companies to rate their business outlook on a seven point scale from "Very Negative" to "Very Positive".
Of the respondents from the utilities sector, 88% had a positive (somewhat positive, positive or very positive) outlook, as did 86% of media companies and 84% of financial services firms. The average proportion of companies with a positive outlook across other industries was 72%.
Quite logically, the three most confident sectors were also the most likely to be increasing their investment in IT. IDC found that 10% more companies in these sectors expect their IT budgets to increase than are expecting a decrease.
Financial institutions curtailed IT spending through the recession but are now ramping up investment, said IDC analyst Angela Vacca."Initiatives to reduce operational costs and enhance IT organisation responsiveness, data privacy, regulatory compliance, and multichannel delivery strategies are expected to drive the business agenda," she said.
IT investment by utilities sector, meanwhile, will be driven by the ‘smart’ energy agenda, she said. "Clean and renewable energy, smart metering, intelligent grids, electric vehicles and the need for charging stations, and smart cities will be the key trends driving investment in R&D and in enabling technologies," Vacca explained.
Media companies plan to spend on digital archive technology, 3D software and security technology, she remarked. "The media sector in its entirety is undergoing a digital revolution, with deep changes both in the contents that are produced and in the form in which they are delivered. Flexible IT systems to support business changes are a top priority."