3. Business Analytics
Big data is still a big deal for enterprises. Some 38% of the IT executives we surveyed said they will dedicate IT dollars to enterprise analytics, data mining and business intelligence in the coming year.
"The theme for IT spending in 2015 is all around digital business," says Richard Gordon, a U.K.-based Gartner analyst. "So you're seeing spending in things like analytics. There's a wave of data coming from customers and social media. And as the Internet of Things rolls out, there will be even more information on customers. Businesses are scrambling to figure out how they can extract value from that information."
Georgetown's Davis says higher education is just beginning to understand the value of big data and how to use analytics. In 2015, the university will marshal the resources and dollars necessary to kick off an enterprise CRM project that will include a business intelligence and analytics platform from Blackboard Inc.
Davis says the Blackboard tools will allow Georgetown to follow students' data threads while they're enrolled as undergraduates and after they become alumni. "We'll be able to leverage those data sets so we understand what our undergraduate students are doing, what activities they're in and who they're networking with until they graduate," she says. When they're out in the worlds as alumni, the university will be able to track their careers and "determine the likelihood of them giving back to the institution," she adds.
4. Application Development
More than one-third (38%) of our respondents said that they will spend money on developing, upgrading or replacing applications, including mobile apps. At trade show company Hargrove, Snyderwine says he plans to spend the largest chunk of his 2015 IT budget (30%) on application development.
Customers visit the Hargrove website to order carpeting, chairs and labor for their displays, and he says "it's time for a refresh" of the company's three-year-old customer-facing app. Snyderwine says he wants to build new apps and upgrade others to get more functionality and a "modern Windows 8-type interface," and he will probably use a third party to do that. "I need different skill sets that I don't have in-house, so I'm going to outsource a lot of that," he explains.
For its part, Cross Country Home Services, a Sunrise, Fla.-based home warranty provider, plans to increase IT spending 10% to 15% next year as it ventures into new lines of business and the consumer channel. One of its top priorities will be developing mobile apps for its traditional and new offerings.
For instance, the company's new total home management website, TotalProtect.com, can be used on mobile devices, but "it's a different experience than using a mobile app," says CIO Joel Steigelfest. "We want people to be able to enroll or initiate a claim through their mobile device, so we're doing more of that kind of investment," he explains.
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