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Tech Spending to Grow, Signals [Mostly] Good Times for B2B Tech Ahead

Technology is a priority business investment for 2022; 53% of IT buyers expect tech spending to grow – and budgets will grow on average by 26%

The next year or so is looking rosy in terms of tech spending. That’s according to The 2022 State of IT report by SpiceWorks ZiffDavis.

The publishing organization conducted the survey in July 2021, and the report is based on polling of “1,145 IT buyers from organizations across North America and Europe.

I often write about marketing surveys on these pages. Given my consulting work is almost exclusively B2B, this study looks especially helpful.

Here’s what stood out for me as I look at the results through the lenses of B2B marketing and PR.

1. Tech spending set to grow.

More than half (53%) of the respondents polled said they expect tech spending in their organization to grow. That number was larger among bigger organizations. For example, among businesses with 500 or more employees, 64% said tech spending would rise.

The growth in spending will be significant too: 26% on average. North American (31%) companies expect the budget to grow more than their counterparts in Europe (21%).

About one-third of all respondents (35%) expect their budget to remain flat – and just 7% thought they would shrink.

2. The driving forces behind tech spending.

The top driver of IT spending is prioritization, according to the survey. That could mean a lot of things – on one hand, it could mean business leaders are trying to get an edge. On the other, IT projects have historically been pitched as yielding long-term savings.

Interestingly, the urgency to prioritize spending has topped the need to update infrastructure:

  • 49% say increased priority on IT projects;
  • 47% say a need to upgrade outdated IT infrastructure;

Another big driving force behind tech spending is security:

  • 44% say increased security concerns;

Marketers should be careful to avoid writing this off as investments in security tools alone. Other studies show security is a concern across the board – in martech for example. Security ought to be part of your messaging.

The remaining drivers stack up as follows:

  • 39% said employee growth
  • 37% said supporting remote work during COVID
  • 32% said business revenue increases
  • 29% said increased product costs
  • 25% said changes to regulatory or compliance standards, and
  • 22% said inflation.

The pandemic’s effects kick-started a lot of tech spending in unrest. The last 12-18 months demonstrated to business leaders the gains of substantial investments in tech.

The inflation line drew my attention too. Whether it’s transitory or not, that’s going to be a story that gets covered repeatedly over the next year. This is a good time to think about whether you’ve got an angle that both fits – and advances your business narrative.

3. Where that tech spending is going.

The next logical question is – where do respondents think that money is going? The survey results suggest a fairly equitable distribution across hardware, software and services. However, there is certainly a lot of overlap between “software” and “cloud.”

  • 30% said hardware
  • 28% said software
  • 26% said hosted/cloud, and
  • 17% said managed services.

The survey also looked more specifically at software spending. Among the top five areas of software where respondents expected to put some investment are as follows:

  • 12% said productivity software
  • 11% said industry-specific applications
  • 11% said operating systems
  • 10% said security software, and
  • 9% said business support applications.

* * *

If there’s one area to watch out for, it’s the supply chain. From limited product availability – to supply disruptions – the challenges buyers of IT technology expect in 2022 all revolve around the supply chain. It’s a good time for B2B marketing and PR to dust off that crisis plan and think about where the supply chain messaging fits.

The full report is freely available for download here: The 2022 State of IT.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
Why “Disruption” is a Terrible Message for Prospects in B2B Marketing

Image credits: Unsplash and respective study

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