Creating an IT budget would be easy for companies if they could travel into the future to see what was in store for their businesses and the economy in 2019. But since no one has invented a time machine that can whisk people into the future and back again, the next best thing is finding out what experts are predicting and what other companies are planning to do. Research by Gartner, Harvey Nash/KPMG, Spiceworks, and Tech Pro Research provide several interesting insights into companies’ IT budgets and priorities in 2019.

IT Spending on the Rise

Gartner is predicting that overall IT spending will increase by 3.2% in 2019 — a forecast that is reflected in other research findings. When Tech Pro Research surveyed more than 100 IT professionals, over half said that their organizations will be dedicating more funds to IT in 2019 compared to 2018. Similarly, about half of the 4,000 IT leaders participating in a study conducted by Harvey Nash/KPMG said they are expecting a budget increase in 2019.

A survey by Spiceworks, though, had different findings. About half of the 700+ respondents said that the IT spending at their companies will stay at the same level as the previous year. Only a third indicated that their IT budgets will increase in 2019.

How Companies Are Planning to Spend Their IT Dollars

Knowing the areas in which companies are planning to spend their IT dollars can be helpful when creating a budget. Both the Tech Pro Research and Spiceworks surveys asked respondents about their IT budgeting priorities in 2019.

Security is the top priority for the companies that participated in the Tech Pro Research study. This is not surprising given that businesses are often the target of cyberattacks. IT training for employees is also high on the list. Companies are making this a priority because employees need to be retrained as IT technologies and work processes change. Plus, new employees will also need training.

Upgrading outdated IT infrastructure is the No. 1 priority for the businesses represented in the Spiceworks survey. When looking at the various components in IT infrastructures, such as hardware and software, the study revealed that businesses will spend the most on hardware purchases. The biggest chunk of their hardware budgets will go toward buying desktop and laptop computers.