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Security and marketing are the top software spending priorities for 2023

Report concludes there is no indication that spending will wane, even in the current economic climate

UK companies have identified cyber security and marketing tools as the top priority for investment in 2023, the latest data from Capterra has revealed. 

According to the research firm’s Software Buyer Trends report, both software categories were identified by 41% of respondents as a key priority for the year ahead. The pair edged out IT management (40%), supply chain management or ERP (39%), sales management or CRM (36%), and accounting software (31%). 

In the UK, it found that cyber security continues to be a growing concern for businesses, with 70% of respondents stating that they have either already started using cyber security software before the pandemic (39%) or have adopted it since (31%). 

In fact, more than half (58%) said they consider “advanced cyber security” a valuable or potentially valuable emerging technology for their organisation. 

The report surveyed 1,526 business leaders and managers between August and October 2022, with respondents from Australia, Canada, France, the UK, and the US.

Increased spending

Despite the talk of economic recession and an uncertain global financial landscape, UK software spending is expected to increase over the coming year, with 62% of UK business decision-makers stating that they plan to spend more on software in 2023.  

In terms of their projected budget for the year, 45% revealed that they plan to spend between 10-20% more than in 2022, with 17% even stating they will be spending more than that.

“Software buying trends are not expected to wane,” said Eduardo Garcia, content analyst for the UK at Capterra. “2022 began on the back of a record-breaking year for the UK tech sector. Record investments of over £29.4 billion have seen the sector thrive, creating more unicorns and opportunities than ever.”

Three key procurement challenges

Although spending increases are forecast, there may be some familiar investment challenges ahead. The top three hurdles, as cited by UK business leaders were found to be: compatibility with existing systems (42%), identifying the right technology (38%), and security concerns (38%). 

Additionally, many organisations are still cautious with their strategy, with 54% saying that they approached new and emerging technologies ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ cautiously – compared to 48% across the full range of surveyed countries.

Overall, however, UK businesses appear to remain committed to their digital progress and technology investment, with 50% agreeing that emerging technologies have played a key role in their IT strategy. 

“UK businesses are looking to apply part of their budget to strengthen their cyber security capabilities,” Garcia added. “This is in addition to focusing on other strategic elements that can improve their revenues and operations, such as marketing, IT management, and supply chain management.

“Our survey shows that despite the difficulties 2023 may bring, UK companies are still set on developing their digital transformation strategies,” Garcia said. 

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