Riverbed Technology reveals that 71% of CIOs expect to increase IT spending in 2013. 
The findings are the result of an independent research project regarding IT spending priorities across numerous industries in Europe.
The survey was commissioned by Riverbed and managed by Vanson Bourne, the independent specialist technology market research company. It questioned 400 CIOs across France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Poland and the UK about their spending priorities over the next 12 months.
Respondents were asked to pick their top five spending priorities over the next year, with virtualisation and consolidation programmes coming out on top.
The EMEA top five investment priorities identified by the survey include:
* Server virtualisation – 50%
* Data centre consolidation – 40%
* Storage consolidation – 34%
* Desktop virtualisation – 33%
* Server upgrades – 33%.
IT spending trends for EMEA CIOs include:
* 10% of respondents plan to make aggressive investments to improve their company’s competitiveness;
* 28% of companies surveyed indicated that efficiency and cuts to overall spend are key drivers for the investments they will make in the next 12 months;
* 33% of the 400 CIOs surveyed stated that they will approach investment in IT “cautiously” in 2013, to prepare their organisation for the challenges of the next decade;
* 20% of those questioned assume that spend will continue at the same level as the last three to five years; and
* Only 9% of the total sample indicated that IT budgets were shrinking and that they would be spending less over the next 12 months.
“Investment appears to primarily focus on centralising technology in order to remain competitive,” says Willem Hendrickx, senior VP: EMEA at Riverbed Technology. “CIOs clearly understand the cost and time savings that consolidation and virtualisation can bring.
“However, in order to fully reap the benefits of these initiatives, they also realise the network needs to be completely optimised to maintain application performance, or companies run the risk of negating many of the potential benefits. This is highlighted by the fact that as many as 38% of CIOs cited application performance over the WAN as a barrier to consolidation.
“As more services become virtualised and dependence upon Web delivered tools increases, companies are turning to WAN optimisation to ensure ‘business as usual’ in a far from usual technology environment.”