2021 Technology Spending Intentions Survey

Enterprise technology spending is poised to recover from 2020 levels, driven by the need to retool IT capabilities and support business growth.

Executive Summary

Understand global organizations’ most important technology and business priorities for the year with ESG’s 2021 Technology Spending Intentions Survey. The full report analyzes private- and public-sector technology spending expectations for 2021, the key business and technology priorities driving those spending plans, and year-over-year trends with respect to technology adoption and changing customer preferences. It includes insights from organizations across a range of industry sectors, company sizes, and geographic regions.

The report takes an in-depth look at the factors influencing this year’s technology spending plans, including:

  • The need to retool IT capabilities and support business growth.
  • Ongoing remote work strategies (and priorities for reopening physical offices).
  • The COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on organizations’ usage of public cloud services.
  • Increased complexity and cybersecurity vulnerability driven by increased numbers of remote workers.
  • IT decision makers’ desire to make data centers more cloud-like.
  • Digital transformation initiatives.

Interact with the data

Given the obvious impact COVID-19 has had on longstanding business processes and employee work routines, ESG asked senior IT decision makers that have attended any digital online (i.e., virtual) technology conferences or events in the past six months for their thoughts on this alternative approach to physical/in-person events.

Click on the chart below to explore how views on virtual events differ by age of the respondent.


As technology and business leaders look for a more flexible and resilient IT operating model, organizations are increasing their commitment to public cloud strategies in 2021 and beyond.
Nearly 8 in 10 firms (78%) now report using some form of public cloud infrastructure, up from 67% in 2020.

ESG TechTruths

Click to view noteworthy data points from the survey and their concise analysis.


ESG Infographic

ESG'S annual technology spending intentions research reveals 10 key trends to watch over the course of 2021 and beyond.

This is truly a fascinating time in technology and business history...Companies need to adjust to changing business conditions on a daily basis, rethink how their employees work and collaborate, and deliver a compelling, modern and secure customer experience that reflects current customer needs. Taken as a whole, the results of this year’s survey suggest that technology and business leaders understand these strategic priorities."

John McKnight
Executive Vice President of Research and Analyst Services, ESG


2021 Technology Spending Intentions Survey

Based on a survey of 664 global IT and business professionals at enterprise and midmarket organizations, the 2021 Technology Spending Intentions Survey examines the key business and technology priorities driving 2021 spending plans across a range of technology markets including infrastructure, cloud services, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, data protection, mobility, business applications, and more.



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