Technology spending on the rise with mobile apps and security the top priorities

18 May 2015

Singapore companies are planning a big boost in IT expenditure in 2015, according to a new survey by recruitment firm Robert Half.

The survey of technology leaders - Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) – found 59 per cent of companies in Singapore are increasing their technology budgets in 2015, while only 12 per cent are reducing their technology budgets.

The survey was conducted across eight countries and involved 901 respondents, 100 of which were from Singapore. The UK has the greatest number of companies increasing technology budgets (65 per cent), followed by Australia (62 per cent), Singapore (59 per cent), Germany (49 per cent), Hong Kong (49 per cent), Switzerland (30 per cent) and Japan (25 per cent).

Table 1: Do you expect your company's IT budget for 2015 to increase, decrease or stay the same?

                        Singapore

Total

Small 

(1 to 499 employees)

Medium

(500 to 999 employees)

Large

(1000 employees)

Increase

59%

67%

62%

53%

Decrease

12%

17%

13%

9%

Stay the same

29%

17%

26%

37%

 

Small firms are more likely to spend more on technology than large firms. According to the survey 67 per cent of firms with fewer than 500 employees are boosting their technology budgets, compared to 53 per cent of large firms with more than 1000 employees.

Table 2: By what percentage will your 2015 budget increase?

Total

Small

(1 to 499 employees)

Medium

(500 to 999 employees)

Large

(1000 employees)

10.4%

13.5%

9.8%

9.4%

 

The increase is also expected to be substantial – with the average budget to rise by 10.4 per cent this year. Small companies are again leading the pack with anticipated budget boosts of a healthy 13.5 percent, followed by mid-sized firms with a 9.8 per budget increase and large firms with a 9.4 per cent increase.

Table 3: Top priorities for new IT expenditure

Priority

Small
(1 to 499 employees)

Medium
(500 to 999 employees)

Large
(1000 employees)

1

Mobile Solutions
(44%)

Business intelligence
(44%)

Risk and security
(53%)

2

Business intelligence
(33%)

Application development
(36%)

Business process improvement
(33%)

3

Application development
(33%)

Web development/services
(33%)

IT business strategy enablement
(30%)

4

IT vendor management
(28%)

Mobile Solutions
(33%)

Business intelligence/ analysis
(28%)

5

Information risk and security; cloud adoption; virtualisation
(22%)

Information risk and security
(31%)

Customer and partner collaboration; cloud adoption; application development
(26%)

 

The expenditure priorities of companies differ depending on the size of the company. Mobile solutions top the list of priorities for small firms followed by business intelligence and application development. The ability to manage their vendors ranks high as a priority for small firms, but is not a top focus for mid-sized or large companies.

Mid-sized firms have similar priorities to smaller ones, with business intelligence, application and web development, as well as mobile solutions all on the ‘to do’ list.

Large firms have a very different set of priorities. Information risk and security is paramount and clearly the most important focus for big companies. By comparison, risk and security only ranks fifth in the priority list for small and mid-sized firms.

Ms Stella Tang, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said bigger budgets also meant a boost in headcount.

Technology jobs are among the hottest roles in Singapore right now. Technology drives so many aspects of a modern business – from sales growth through to productivity improvements. As a result, professionals with IT skills are increasingly in demand.”

“Large firms have been beefing up their security and risk teams for several years now and this remains a priority for hiring among the larger corporations in Singapore.”

“The most interesting new trend is the move by small firms to embrace mobile solutions as they look for new ways to reach their existing customers and win over new ones. These trends create opportunities for people with mobile, cloud, project management, sales and business development skills, as well as those looking to work on a contract or part-time basis,” Ms Tang said.

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Gabrielle Nagy 
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