Overall discretionary IT expenditures by major Brazilian companies are rising, reaching 46% of total IT budgets in 2011, according to a study carried by consulting and technology firm Accenture, in partnership with IDC.
Discretionary IT spending is related to strategic initiatives and process improvements. Non-discretionary spending, in turn, has more to do with software updates, legal compliance and maintenance.
"Our survey found an increase in the average level of discretionary spending, which rose from 35% in 2009 to 40% in 2010 and reached 46% this year. This indicates market maturity and suggests the [companies'] adoption of a more healthy IT investment policy," said Accenture technology consulting senior executive Jesus Lopez Aros.
Between August and September, Accenture and IDC surveyed some 100 large companies in different verticals, such as financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, government and commerce.
The "Brazil Infrastructure Maturity X-Ray" study evaluated the IT situation in these companies considering eight areas - green IT and data center, security, networks, mobility, IT investments, delivery, governance, and support.
The areas evaluated were analyzed and graded according to different levels of IT maturity: informal (little documentation, few investments), insufficient (some documentation and investment), defined (well documented, established), controlled (automatized, refined) and optimized (results highly predictable, continual improvements).
Based on these grades, an average score for the overall status of IT in Brazil was calculated.
The country scored 2.7 overall on a scale of 1-5. In the same study, the country scored 2.4 in 2009 and 2.5 last year.
Some areas in study were scored as above average, such as mobility and IT investments, both obtaining 3.0.
Use of so-called green IT - environmentally sustainable solutions - today has a greater share among the companies surveyed, increasing from a score of 2.5 to 2.7. Delivery and security scored an average of 2.5.
Another of the study's key finding was increased cloud computing adoption, which reached 37% of the polled companies, compared to 27% last year.