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IT in 2013: Budgets/investments flat, hiring on hold
IRVINE, Calif. (1/9/13)--Credit unions can expect information technology (IT) budgets to increase slightly during 2013, according to a new study of IT executives. However, capital investments in new technology will stay flat, and hiring is on hold until the economy is more certain.

That means most IT budget planners expect their operational budgets to grow 2.5%--same as the previous year, said Computer Economics, an Irvine, Calif.-based IT research firm. It surveyed IT organizations during the fourth quarter about their spending and staffing plans for the year ahead. The findings are in its latest report, Outlook for IT Spending and Staffing in2013.

"The forecast is in stark contrast to very positive growth in IT capital budgets and hiring that occurred at the end of last year," said John Longwell, vice president of research for Computer Economics. "That momentum seems to have stalled moving into the New Year."

Among the findings:

  • IT executives plan for a scant 0.3% increase in median (average) IT capital spending. The reason? The U.S. budget deficit negotiations, Europe's recession and uncertainty about the Chinese economy are creating a lack of clarity.
  • IT operational budgets will rise 2.5% at the median (the middle number in a range of numbers). IT executives will continue to examine outsourcing alternatives as a means to improve agility and lower their cost structure. Cloud computing service providers will be the primary beneficiaries, but desktop support and help desk outsourcing could also rise.
  • Many organizations likely will continue to use outsourcing as a strategy to restrain headcount. However, if the economy keeps from stalling, they would revise their capital spending budgets and hire more permanent workers. If the economy weakens, there is room for budget reductions.
  • IT capital budgets will remain flat, showing little or no growth at the median. Most spending will favor software over hardware upgrades.
  • IT staff headcount will remain largely unchanged. While many IT organizations plan to do some hiring, overall job growth will be muted. Most IT workers will receive pay raises in the 2% to 3% range.


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