Analytics Gets Big IT Investment in 2017

It's one thing to talk about a particular technology being important to an organization. But the real measure of that importance may just be where the business is investing its IT budget dollars. And that's good news for analytics, business intelligence, predictive capabilities, and all those other categories that have to do with gaining insights from data. It's also good news for data professionals.

The 2017 SIM (Society of Information Management) IT Trends study;and survey again ranked analytics at the top of the list for the largest investments by IT organizations in 2016. And this collection of technologies -- SIM includes analytics, business intelligence, data mining, forecasting, and big data all in this category -- has remained at the top of the list since 2009.

(Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock)

(Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock)

"Investments in IT, both operational and strategic, provide a great deal of insight into which technologies provide the most value for organizations," SIM says in this year's report. "business intelligence and related technologies continue to dominate IT organizational investment priorities, rating as the number one largest technology investment for the last eight years."

Interestingly, this group of technologies around analytics also made the top of another SIM list from the survey -- "technologies that should get more investment." And this category also ranked 4th on the list of "technologies that are most most personally worrisome."

SIM notes that inclusion of these technologies at the top or close to the top of all three lists "reflects the potential of these technologies to be important enablers of business value. It may also indicate the difficulty staffing the skills needed to derive business value from them."

That's good news for data and analytics pros who find themselves in high demand these days.

And the interest in and commitment to analytics in organizations today shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

The survey also found that IT organizations planned to make good on their intention to increase spending on analytics and related technologies in 2017. Overall, organizations responding to the survey spent 6.1% of 2016 IT budgets on this category of technologies. And they projected they would spend 7.4% on the category in 2017, representing a 26.4% increase, according to the SIM IT Trends Study. Even though a budget allocation of 6% or 7% may seem small, the percentage jump from year to year is the largest among all the categories, well ahead of the next category, Cybersecurity, which jumped by 20.2% year over year.

To compile this year's report, SIM looked at survey responses from 1213 individual SIM members, representing 801 unique organizations. The results included responses from 490 CIOs. The average company size in terms of annual revenues is $4.75 billion and the median is $500 million. This year's SIM IT Trends Study report marks the 37th annual edition of the SIM IT Trends Study.

Does this SIM survey match up with your experience at your own company? Are you seeing your management put more investment dollars into spending on analytics?

Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps, Informationweek

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, predictive analytics, and big data for smarter business and a better world. In her spare time she enjoys playing Minecraft and other video games with her sons. She's also a student and performer of improvisational comedy. Follow her on Twitter: @jessicadavis.

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Re: Understandable Investment
  • 1/30/2017 12:20:23 PM

One side point - while increase in investment is good, you have to wonder if by having it as an IT-related investment if that alters a perception of how integral analytics is in business today. Maybe people see IT as integral, so my question may be mute. But I do wonder at times how it is seen, when many of the valuable tasks in analytics is not seen as efforts with immediate benefit to revenue or costs.

Re: Understandable Investment
  • 1/5/2017 12:00:24 PM

Great share Lyndon. I think AI also is influencing the long term outlook. One o'reilly site notes it as a long term play over ten years. With its increasing influence on analytics, I can see how the investment will play towards 2019 and beyond. 

Re: Understandable Investment
  • 1/4/2017 3:42:32 AM


A kind of companion implication to the vigorously rising growth of investment in analytics is the growing rewards for analytics consultants, software developers, and other professionals involved in providing analytics-related services.

Jessica Davis covered this is an earlier article, last May, titled Big Data, Analytics Sales Will Reach $187 Billion By 2019. Key points are conveyed by the synopsis summary to her article:

Market research firm IDC forecasts a 50% increase in revenues from the sale of big data and business analytics software, hardware, and services between 2015 and 2019. Services will account for the biggest chunk of revenue, with banking and manufacturing-led industries poised to spend the most.



Understandable Investment
  • 12/27/2016 8:15:08 AM

Good highlight that analytics has been at the top of ionvestment choices since 2009.  The technology associated with analytics has become widespread, but discerning best practice behavior has shifted as analytics incorporated more data sources, triggering new needs.  IT has understood that value comes from reinvestment, not labeling analytics as a financial cul-de-sac, which would have hindered the industry.