Mid-market companies are bucking the UK trend, with 77% expecting a rise in 2017 IT budgets, according to a new report by East Midlands-based cloud, data centre and communications specialist Node4.
The report, titled “Mid-market IT priorities 2017”, reveals that 35% of IT decision makers in the mid-market expect budget rises of 5-10%, while a further 22% anticipate a hike of over 10% against a backdrop of shrinking IT budgets in the UK as a whole.
The research examines the attitudes of 200 IT decision makers at mid-market companies with a turnover of £15-£800m. It shows that business growth, security and reducing operational costs are the top three IT priorities for the UK’s mid-market sector in 2017. It also reveals that hosted and cloud-based services will take a significant share of mid-market IT budgets in 2017, with infrastructure as a service (20%) and managed security as a service (16%) being the top two cloud spending priorities for the year, followed by managed services (12%) and disaster recovery as a service (11%).
However, confidence in the mid-market’s general financial outlook is not quite so strong, as just 18% of mid-sized businesses claimed to be optimistic about their organisation’s fortunes in 2017. Almost a third (31%) emphasised the difficulties presented by a looming Brexit and an overwhelming 81% agree that weathering Brexit is a high or medium priority this year.
The mid-market sector believes the government, the financial sector and IT partners should be doing more to support this increasingly crucial sector of the UK economy, with the report revealing that 36% believe their needs are overlooked by government policy makers, 34% struggle to attract investment and a quarter feel their needs are overlooked by IT providers.
Paul Bryce, business development director at Node4, said: “Mid-tier companies are the engine of the UK’s economy, so it is promising to see investment taking place in the IT infrastructure that will help to fuel further growth. It is no surprise that mid-market companies are embracing the cloud, which affords a huge opportunity to drive efficiency, agility, scalability, and to empower workforces.
“Despite the current challenging business climate, the mid-market is the fastest growing sector in the UK economy, and policy-makers, investors and IT vendors alike should focus on enabling this growth. Fast-growing companies need to work with an IT partner that can help their infrastructure scale to embrace new staff, locations, and acquisitions. Node4 has helped many companies cope with such growth and we will continue to focus on the fast-growing mid-market in 2017”.