How COVID-19 will impact future IT budgets and priorities


43% of survey respondents will tighten their 2022 IT budgets due to COVID-19, reports a recent TechRepublic Premium poll.

Planning for 2022 IT budgets has begun, and many businesses are recognizing the effects of COVID-19 on their IT priorities and tech spends.

How COVID-19 will influence IT budgets and how businesses plan to allocate their tech dollars was the topic of a recent TechRepublic Premium survey. TechRepublic Premium surveyed 122 SMB decision-makers about their 2022 IT budgets and compared the results to a similar survey conducted last year about their 2021 IT budgets. 

Questions ranged from how the coronavirus crisis will alter fiscal 2022 budget plans and IT priorities to who makes initial recommendations for items in the IT budget. Other questions delved into what percentage of the overall corporate budget is allocated to IT, top budget priorities, how vendors can better assist clients and much more.  

SEE: 2022 IT Budget Research Report: COVID-19 prompts organizations to tighten budgets (TechRepublic Premium)

COVID-19 shifts IT budget plans

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The uncertainty of COVID-19 factored into many respondents’ IT budgetary plans. Of survey respondents, 43% said they will tighten their budgets because of the coronavirus. While this number represents almost half of the survey respondents, it is lower than last year, when 62% of respondents forecasted tightening IT budgets. 

Also noteworthy, 21% of respondents said that COVID-19 had no effect on their 2021 IT budgets. This number rose slightly to 23% for 2022.

Further, 20% of respondents anticipate that their organization’s fiscal/calendar year 2022 budget will be less than $50,000, which is up from 16% last year. Eighteen percent predict having budgets of $1 million to $9.9 million, 13% foresee budgets between $10 million and $49.9 million, and 4% believe their budget will exceed $250 million.

Despite businesses shifting dollars and practicing more controlled spending, IT budgets will see increases in network and internet security spends, according to 27% of respondents, and remote IT technology, according to 22% of respondents. Interestingly, these two spending priorities flip-flopped from last year. In 2021, 26% of survey respondents planned to spend more on remote IT technology, and 22% reported spending more on networks and internet security because of COVID-19. 

SEE: 2022 IT Budget Research Report: COVID-19 prompts organizations to tighten budgets (TechRepublic Premium)

IT budget priorities

More specifically, the top five IT budget priorities for fiscal calendar year 2022 are improving network and internet security, cloud services, digital transformation and employee training, according to respondents. For the most part, these mirror last year’s survey results. Implementing remote technologies for employees was the one noticeable difference year to year. Only 8% of survey respondents said that this will be an IT priority for 2022. In 2021, implementing remote technology was a priority for 13% of respondents. 

In 2021, the majority of survey respondents (71%) reported that their IT budgets comprised 10% or less of their organizations’ total budgetary spending. For 2022, that number dipped to 46% of respondents reporting that 10% or less of the overall corporate budget will be allocated to IT.

The infographic below contains selected details from the research. To read more findings, plus analysis, download the 2022 IT budget research report: COVID-19 prompts organizations to tighten budgets (TechRepublic Premium).


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