A survey by Enterprise Technology Research (ETR) predicts that technology spending among global companies will drop 4.1% this year in an effort to reduce overall costs. However, the spread of COVID-19 is driving up spending in a few areas, which may mean some CIOs end up spending even more than they expected in 2020 to support newly remote workers. Spending on “work from home infrastructure” has increased from an initial 1% to 30+% of annual IT budgets.“Companies are cutting costs and putting planned investments in technology, workforce and capital expenditures on hold while they try to weather an unprecedented economic storm,” said PwC Chief Clients Officer Amity Millhiser. “Before this pandemic hit, many businesses were focused on long-term growth. Now they are being forced to think short-term and protect liquidity.” PwC estimates that more than two-thirds of financial executives may cut workforce investments, while 53% are targeting IT as a source of cost reduction. Digital transformation initiatives and the planned headcount associated with them are being delayed or cancelled. Almost a fifth of the respondents to ETR’s survey say they have already frozen IT deployments and new projects. Survey results suggest non-essential projects will be pushed out three to six months.
However, to enable work-from-home, investments in VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure), DaaS (desktop as a service), connectivity, networking, cloud-based services coupled with virtual private networks and security firewalls is soaring. Collaborative applications, which include conference applications, email, enterprise social networks and team collaborative applications, had a worldwide market size of almost $18.5 billion in 2019 and is growing at an annual pace of 13% during 2019-2023, according to IDC. Of these, IDC expects conference and team collaborative applications to see a y-o-y growth of over 15% in 2020 alone.
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