IT decision makers are leading the new economy

More than ever before, indications suggest the UK's fastest growing companies are looking beyond short-term pressures to invest in long-term value creation.

IT decision makers have taken centre stage.

Data shows that digital transformation is now for the masses. The majority of companies with fast-growth ambition are reshaping themselves to capture the upside of the economic rebound.

Gartner’s latest worldwide spending forecast anticipates 5.1% year-on-year growth in IT spend, with enterprise software and IT services leading the expansion.

According to the annual TechTarget / Computer Weekly IT Priorities survey, over two-thirds of UK businesses are harnessing automation, and 50% describe their IT strategy as ‘cloud first’.



Back-office investments, especially cloud-based solutions, are top of the agenda. Over 30% of those surveyed stated they are planning to invest in ERP this year, making it the top business applications project.

Linked to ERP, analytics and business intelligence (BI) are also in the top five priority projects for the upcoming year. With customer relationship management (CRM) and business process automation (BPA) featuring in the top 10.

“The headlines of this survey are interesting, but the sub-text is fascinating,” said Adam Shilton, Senior Business Advisory Consultant, Thinc.

“With IT budgets amongst the first to be increased post-pandemic, there’s clearly a strong vote of confidence in IT decision makers and their ability to design a path into the new economy.”


ERP is this year’s top business application project.


40% of respondents say they have immediate plans to spend on CRM and sales management software.


Of those surveyed, 48% say they have plans to spend on analytics and BI platforms.

We’re already seeing CTOs and CIOs switch focus. Moving beyond the urgent needs of the COVID economy and reorienting towards long-term growth and innovation agendas.

Mark Robinson
The Arts Council

“CTOs, often forming powerful alliances with technologically minded CFOs, are increasingly leading discussions about business transformation. Despite the challenges of recent years, this is an incredibly exciting time for our industry”.

Manufacturing, warehousing and distribution are amongst the industries most heavily impacted by Brexit, the pandemic and the resulting radical shifts in consumer behaviour. Indications show supply chain management is a high priority for UK businesses, with 23% of IT decision-makers planning to invest in the next twelve months.

On the front-office side of enterprise operations, investments in CRM are front of mind. In the survey, 40% of responders say they have immediate plans to spend on CRM and sales management software. This marks a trend for organisations looking to use digital solutions to enhance customer experience.



Almost half of those surveyed (48%) suggest they have plans to spend on analytics and BI platforms. Data quality, data governance and master data management remain key. An increasing number of respondents are planning cloud data warehousing and data lake servicing investments.

And emerging data technologies such as data cataloguing, data preparation and investments in platforms that operationalise machine learning are also gaining traction.

“The prioritisation of significant back-office investment indicates that the leading businesses in the UK will become increasingly intelligent. The winners in the new economy will be fuelled be exceptional BI platforms and built on cloud-based integrated systems that free human resources to concentrate on higher-value activity.”


With many companies now embracing the changes enforced and accelerated by the pandemic and Brexit, transformation has moved from buzzword to bona-fide.

Adam Shilton
Senior Business Advisory Consultant, Thinc

What does this mean for you and your business?

For further insight into the trends shaping the future of your industry and how they can be harnessed by your business, contact the Business Advisory Team at Thinc.
Gary McKnight
Head of Commercial, Thinc.
Tel: 0808 168 8922
Email: gary.mcknight@wearethinc.com

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IT decision makers are leading the new economy

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