IT and digital transformation is becoming an increasingly critical component for businesses across industries – according to The Society for Information Management (SIM) IT Trends Study 2018 Comprehensive Report. The numbers, gathered through a study from 760 organizations and 469 chief information officers (CIOs), highlight this trend. Here are the major takeaways:

Organization’s increased IT budgets by an average of 23% from 2016 to 2017

The overall increase in the average IT budgets from the 760 organizations taking part in the study increased by 23% – the largest single year increase since 2012. “An increase of this magnitude, (even) while IT operating costs are falling, points to a significant increase in IT investments aimed at increasing capability, strategic value, and digital transformation”, said Professor Leon Kappelman, the study’s chief scientist.

IT spending as a percentage of revenue rose from 5% to over 6%

Not only are overall IT budgets increasing, but the report revealed more and more businesses are converting a greater portion of their revenue into IT expenses in hopes of both short and long-term positive return on investment. Of the 760 organizations, on average, IT expenditures accounted for over 6% of revenue in 2017 – up from the 2016 figure of 5%.

75% of organizations reported increasing IT budgets in 2017

The study revealed that three quarters of the 760 organizations taking part in the study increased their IT budgets in 2017. As the capabilities of various digital technologies continue to grow, it’s no surprise that businesses are increasing their use of these technologies in attempt to stay ahead of the curve and get a leg up on competitors.

Who are CIO’s? 24% now come from non-IT backgrounds; up from 9% in 2009

The evolving role of the CIO: Whereas IT was once considered largely autonomous and separate from the core of many businesses, that idea seems to be dwindling. Of the 760 organizations researched, nearly 25% reported having CIO’s with a non-technical background. In 2009, this figure was at about 9% – representing the growth of “business-driven” as opposed to “IT-driven” digital transformation strategies and the general alignment of digital strategies with broad business goals.

The research and statistics highlight the growing significance of IT and digital transformation for organization’s across the globe. IT expenditures are rising, and CIO’s are becoming a more integral part of their businesses as digital technology becomes a greater part of our lives as both consumers and employees. Your competitors are investing in IT – are you keeping up?

Learn more: Client stories: digital transformation in action

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