Despite tough economic conditions almost three quarters of CIOs expect to increase IT spending this year, according to research.
A survey of 400 CIOs conducted by technology market research firm Vanson Bourne across France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Poland and the UK, asked them about their spending priorities over the next 12 months.
It found that 71 percent expected to increase IT spending in 2013. Respondents were asked to pick their top five spending priorities over the next year, and virtualisation and consolidation programmes came out on top.
Among the EMEA respondents 50 percent prioritised server virtualisation, and 40 percent data centre consolidation. Another 34 percent cited storage consolidation, and 33 percent prioritised desktop virtualisation. Server upgrades were also the focus for 33 percent.
Overall, ten percent of respondents plan to make "aggressive investments" to improve their company's competitiveness. The survey found that 28 percent 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.
In addition, 20 percent assumed that spend will continue at the same level as the last three to five years. Only 9 percent of the total sample indicated that IT budgets were shrinking, and that they would be spending less over the next 12 months.
The survey was commissioned by networked app performance technology company Riverbed Technology.
"Investment appears to primarily focus on centralising technology in order to remain competitive. But 38 percent of CIOs cited application performance over the WAN as a barrier to consolidation, so more are turning to WAN optimisation to ensure business continuity," said Willem Hendrickx, EMEA senior vice president at Riverbed Technology.