"Slow and steady" seems to be the watchword, with the bulk of IT shops responding to our latest "State of the Network" study saying their budgets and headcount will remain flat in the coming year.
If you're a glass-half-empty type, that is bad news given the ever-increasing demands on IT, but if you're an optimist this might not sound too bad given the wobbly economy and the fact that many new technologies promise increased efficiencies.
On the budget front, nearly half of the group surveyed (47%) said they expect their funds will remain flat over the next 12 months, while 20% expect to get budget hikes, and significant ones at that: an average of 20%. Of the remaining, 14% think they'll see budget cuts and one-fifth said they aren't sure.
The numbers are similar for IT headcount expectations, with half saying employee levels will remain the same, a quarter expecting to add bodies, 11% saying they are likely to lose personnel and 14% unsure of what will happen.
Asked what percentage of their IT budget is allocated to on-premise IT facilities vs. various hosted options, as a group the mean summary was: 75% on premise, 10% colocation (your equipment in someone else's building), 8% IaaS (the supplier owns the building and the equipment, but not the app), and 8% SaaS (the supplier owns the building, the equipment and the app).
Asked to anticipate how that mix will change 18 months from now, the numbers show a migration to the cloud: 69% on premise; 11% colocation; 10% IaaS; 10% SaaS. Said another way, that's an 8% slide on the traditional side and 25% gains for IaaS and SaaS.
While the study showed interest in and plans for a wide range of tech initiatives, it also revealed that companies are behind the eight ball when it comes to bring-your-own-device efforts.
Only 16% of the participants have BYOD policies in place, which is a basic building block for BYOD, and it is a fair bet that a far greater percentage of companies have employees accessing resources from personal devices, meaning these organizations have broad risk exposure.
Of course most companies wouldn't know that employees were using mobile devices to log in because only 13% have deployed mobile device management or mobile application management tools. What's more, a whopping 42% say MDM/MAM isn't even on their radar.
On a related note, only 20% of the respondents say they have formally added support for tablets, and only 8% have built corporate app stores. While it is tempting to cite the data as evidence that the BYOD hype is outpacing reality, the plethora of smartphones and tablets in meetings would suggest otherwise.