61% of organizations say improving security a top priority for 2021

New survey finds that there is not enough IT budget for a third of companies

Improving IT security emerged as the top IT priority for 61% of organizations this year, according to a new survey. However, 30% were concerned about not enough IT budget or resources to meet demands.

Kaseya’s 2021 IT Operations Report of IT professionals worldwide found that 62% said their IT budgets were cut, remained the same, or uncertain in 2021.

Among the other priorities for organizations were cloud migration (36%) and increasing IT productivity through automation (34%). The report said that these priorities aligned with recent trends, including the sharp increase in cyber attacks over the past year, businesses shifting to online and the cloud during the pandemic, and the increased demands on IT that outpace team growth.

Cyber security solutions topped the list of what IT professionals plan to invest in for 2022, with 53% of respondents planning to budget for email security tools, such as phishing prevention, and 33% of respondents plan to invest in ransomware protection. 

The survey also found that most respondents (64%) said they hadn’t experienced a security breach or ransomware attack in the last three years. 

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“Updating outdated IT infrastructure” and “Business growth” are the top two drivers for IT budgets in 2021, according to 52% and 49% of respondents, respectively. Organizations also said their IaaS cloud spending would increase, and 36% anticipate growth in SaaS spending. 

Other budgetary drivers included remote workforce management at 42%, while “Innovation and strategic initiatives” and “security incidents or concerns” were major budget drivers for 38% of respondents. Over a third of the respondents (37%) plan to invest their IT budget in “Digital transformation” this year.

In terms of IT staffing growth areas, about half of the respondents (46%) said they anticipate staffing growth in “IT security” in 2021. Another 40% said their companies planned staffing growth in “General IT technical staff,” and 34% cited “Help desk.”

The survey also asked about organizations’ patch and vulnerability management policies, and 69% of respondents said they regularly scan all servers and workstations for operating system patches. More than half of the respondents (56%) also apply critical OS patches within 30 days of release. 

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