Network spending patterns unchanged in 3 years

Study by 451 Research finds little deviation in budgets since 2011

Less than half of the respondents to a recent survey say their networking budgets are increasing this year and next from 2012 levels. The InfoPro Networking Survey from 451 Research found that 40% of the 155 networking professionals interviewed note a spending increase in 2013, while only 38% expect a budget increase in 2014.

But that 40% represents a "majority," 451 claims, compared to the 39% that saw no increase and the 21% that saw a decrease. So ignore that impulse that says the majority saw no increase or a decrease in networking budgets vs. 40% who saw spending increase. And carry that over to 2014 as well.

[RELATED: Gartner downgrades 2013 global IT spending forecast on currency shifts]

This trend is consistent with 451's findings for 2011-2012 - 38% saw budgets increase while 62% noted no increase or a decrease. A higher percentage of respondents expect a decrease in 2014, however, vs. 2012 and 2013: 27%, compared to 21% in 2013 and 23% in 2012.

Respondents noted projects finishing up, better pricing for their networking investments and/or outsourcing as among the reasons for the lower spend. Those surveyed spend up to $50 million or more annually on networking equipment and services.

The top five networking pain points for these practitioners are security (22%); capacity (19%); budget (18%); network monitoring (13%); and wireless (12%). Seventy-five percent said they have deployed 10G Ethernet in the core of their networks, effectively establishing it as the backbone standard.

Another 64% said they have 10G in other areas of their campus networks, and 6% said they are rolling it out in the short term.

Continued campus rollouts and expansions will be the top priority for enterprises this year, 451 found. Last year, the network core was the main project but this year it's wireless, followed by switch upgrades campuswide. Data center expansion was fifth on the list, followed by 10G deployments.

The interviews were conducted with officials at large and midsize enterprises in North America and Europe.

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