Over 80% of Business Leaders Feel Optimistic About the Economy, Forecast Larger IT Budgets in 2024
November 29, 2023

Matt Cloke

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The past few years have presented numerous challenges for businesses: a pandemic, rising interest rates, supply chain disruptions, and geopolitical conflict that sent shockwaves across the global economy. But change may finally be on the horizon. According to a recent report by Endava surveying nearly 1,000 organizational leaders and decision makers across North America and Western Europe, a majority of executives confirmed they are feeling optimistic about the current business climate, and as a result, are forecasting larger IT budgets, increased technology funding and rollout, and prioritized innovation in the coming year.

The report findings point to the importance of focusing on results over hype in today's business climate, as lasting success in business demands a holistic approach, not just one revolutionary idea. And while it's essential for leaders to keep a pulse on emerging trends, it's just as critical to adapt to the ever-changing markets. With today's uncertainties and the quickly evolving technology landscape, innovation, transformation, and optimization are always on the agenda, with technology playing a pivotal role in continuous problem-solving and adaptation.

Technology acceleration is a practice that blends innovative technology with leading methods; leveraging smaller projects that focus on optimization over transformation, while emphasizing composable architectures and iterative engagements. Through this research, Endava aims to provide perspective on the trends and technologies that are contributing to the emergence of technology acceleration, and the role that technology partnerships play in the rollout of this practice.

Other key insights from Endava's Tech Acceleration report include:

A boost to IT budgets

Nearly 75% of the organizations surveyed forecast a yearly IT budget increase, opening up more resources to hire additional staff, explore new markets, and make strategic investments that enable growth and innovation.

Artificial intelligence, big data, and predictive analytics as top priorities

Artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and predictive analytics ranked as top priorities for organizations included in the study. Over 50% of organizations prioritized AI very highly and just 2% said it wasn't a priority at all. Close to 40% prioritized big data and predictive analytics very highly.

When looking at individual technologies, artificial intelligence rose up as the undisputed champion. Nearly 80% of those surveyed regarded it as either a “high” or “very high priority” technology. Currently, interest in AI is exceptionally high, with Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT dominating technology discussions globally.

5G on the rise, again

5G has been a technology that for some time has struggled to take off. Survey findings suggest that interest in 5G is growing again, particularly in Telecom and Mobility. This aligns with a growing consensus of analysts that predict 5G will be a major element of society in the years to come, acting as the backbone across smart cities, connected factories and automotive, and immersive customer experiences.

Innovation over stability

Over half of the respondents (56%) plan to invest in innovation rather than operational stability. More dollars for technology mean that companies can hire additional staff, explore new markets and make strategic investments. When making such IT investments, organizations must balance pursuing operational stability with innovation that will set them apart from their competitors.

Composable architecture

A comparison between Endava's Emerging Tech Unpacked report and this study revealed that awareness of composable architecture and its application to business may be growing. Previous data showed that many organizations lacked a strategy regarding composability and were unfamiliar with it entirely, while data from this study shows that nearly 60% of respondent organizations are prioritizing it highly.

Organizations applying tech acceleration principles often rely on composability, artificial intelligence, big data, 5G, predictive analytics, microservices, and digital ecosystems. But it's critical to remember that technology acceleration encompasses both strategic and technological elements, so organizations looking to apply a similar framework and stay ahead of the competition must adjust more than just their software and hardware to see success, they must also adjust their thinking for the long haul.

Matt Cloke is Chief Technology Officer at Endava
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