2022 was a big year for the Business Technology field. The economy and the pandemic afterglow have shown how important BT will be for companies in 2023 and beyond. Business leaders see this, and as more understand the value of BT, the more the field will grow and develop.

2022 was also marked by economic uncertainty, especially in the tech sector. Waves of layoffs have made headlines all year. While this has worried those in the BT field, it seems there may be a few factors that can soften the blow for BT in 2023.

Systematic+, commissioned by independent market research firm Atomik Research, conducted an online survey of full-time IT and BT professionals in the United States, from analysts to C-suite executives. The goal was to get a temperature check on the BT industry: what’s driving decisions and the overall direction of this burgeoning field. You can read the full report here.

Let’s take a look at a few research highlights.

Overall budgets are increasing

While BT teams still need to communicate their value to stay afloat in a down economy, it seems the BT field isn’t getting hit as hard as other sectors.

It’s no secret that the market is experiencing some instability. The shadow of a recession looms in 2023. Many leaders have to cut budgets and make difficult staffing decisions across departments. However, BT seems to be faring better than others—80% of respondents reported increased budgets in 2022. This is consistent with research cited by Scott Brinker at Chief Martec, as well as the latest IDC research regarding digital infrastructure. 

Budget increases come with limits, though. Only 20% of BT leaders report getting 50% or more of their budget to innovation—80% find the majority of their budget is used for essential operating purposes.

This points to a typical pattern: in down economies, people are risk averse, and innovation becomes a lower priority.

SaaS budgets are tightening

Despite BT budgets getting a boost, 57% of respondents reported feeling pressured to reduce SaaS spending and cut down on unnecessary software.

When asked how they plan to work with new budget constraints, 40% reported consolidating application usage, 37% said they were requesting usage-based pricing from vendors, and 56% have started implementing vendor management systems.

This has made BT leaders take a hard look at their tech stacks. They are balancing immediate needs while ensuring their technology stacks will serve them well into the future. It has also led to a reckoning with existing technology. BT leaders need to consolidate existing tools and crack down on shadow IT.

BT is here for the long term

62% of respondents say they’ve been tasked with developing a long-term IT/BT strategy that ties into larger company initiatives. Nearly a third reported significantly increased budgets to match. Though, as mentioned before, many of these budget increases are going toward essential operating expenses. Overall, the focus is on efficiency rather than innovation.

While efficiency takes center stage for the time being, this is an opportunity for BT teams to demonstrate their value to the larger organization. It is always a good time to solidify BT as not just a business-critical function, but as a strategic partner in larger business goals.

Cybersecurity is a major focus

The frightening increase in cyber attacks in 2022 has fallen in line with a major focus of BT teams: bolstering cybersecurity.

45% of BT leaders say they’re investing in cybersecurity more than ever before. Avoiding data breaches was an important task for respondents across all levels of seniority. 

While macroeconomic conditions may require businesses to spot-cut some expenses in 2023, analysts don’t foresee any major budget cuts to security.

Some organizations may reallocate budgets to adapt to market conditions. Forrester’s report on security and risk planning for 2023 notes that on-premises tech spending is generally the largest expenditure in a business’ security budget, despite a significant push toward cloud infrastructure. We may see businesses reassessing this spending pattern in 2023, investing more in cloud security in alignment with larger digital transformation initiatives. .

The future of BT

In 2022, BT teams found themselves with more resources than ever to face the challenges of the current market. How they navigate those challenges in 2023 will play a key role in how the BT field develops.

With so much room for the field to grow, 2023 will be an important year for BT professionals to grow their careers as well. The coming year will bring forth many opportunities to learn, grow, and help lay the foundation for this burgeoning field. Make sure to take those opportunities as they arise.
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Amber von Nagel
About Amber von Nagel

Amber von Nagel is a Content Strategist at Workato.