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Utilities set to increase IT spending

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Utilities are at the centre of a maelstrom that is squeezing them between rising costs and the never-ending struggle to find more profit.
To understand the benchmark of information technology (IT) budgets versus revenues, IT budget spending and IT budget distribution, leading business initiatives to support IT decisions, and top information security priorities among utility enterprises across Western Europe, IDC Energy Insights has published a new report, “What about Utilities IT Budgets: Results from Western European Survey 2015”. IDC Energy Insights has also released a complementary report in the series, “Business Strategy: Utilities IT Investment Priorities for Solutions: Results from the Western European Utilities 2015 Survey”, that explores which IT solutions will attract the most investments from utilities.
To understand how utilities are allocating their IT budgets and leading priorities, the new report analyses:
* High-level benchmark of ICT budgets versus revenues;
* Distribution of budget between growth, innovation, and maintain/run and compliance;
* Expectations for external IT spending and its control (IT versus line of business);
* Leading business initiatives;
* Top information security priorities.
Major findings from the new report include:
* Almost one in every five Western European utilities is optimistic for the next 12-18 months, but the great majority of these utilities are unsure about the business outlook for the next 12-18 months, indicating they have neutral outlooks.
* Across Western Europe, utilities will allocate approximately 55% of their IT budgets to maintain/run/compliance activities, while the remainder will be allocated to innovation and growth activities.
* Over 40% of utilities across Western Europe plan to increase their external IT spending over the next 12 months, while 10,8% of Western European utilities expect to decrease external IT spending in the next 12 months.
* In 12 months, Western European utilities still expect almost three-fourths of IT spending to be controlled by their IT departments.
* Western European utilities indicate that for the next 12 months, their leading business initiatives will include information security and data protection, which is also the only high-priority business initiative for these utilities.
* Western European utilities identified data loss and leakage prevention, mobile device security, and cloud security as their top three information security priorities for the next 12 months.
“More and more we find IT spending trickling into the line of business’ control. According to the survey, in the next 12 months, over 25% of Western European utilities’ IT spending will be entirely controlled by the line of business, and 36% will be controlled by the IT department, but decisions will be influenced by the line of business,” says Gais Gallotti, research manager at IDC Energy Insights.