The majority of business and information technology (IT) executives in the United States anticipate increases in IT expenditures over the next three years, according to results of an annual study released today by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

The study, which queried 300 general business managers and IT executives from large U.S.-based companies, found that nearly six out of ten executives (60 percent) expect their organizations to increase their IT expenditures over the next three years. Only 13 percent of respondents expect their organizations to reduce IT spending. The average increase in spending during the next year is expected to be 5.5 percent.

Additionally, while more than two-thirds (69 percent) of executives said that IT spending at their organizations has increased in the past three years, nearly one-third (32 percent) indicate that spending is less than it should be.

Of those respondents who expect IT spending to increase over the next three years, the greatest number (21 percent) selected "new business initiatives" as the most important factor driving the rise in expenditures. "Upgrading legacy systems" and "adopting new technologies" followed closely, selected by 19 percent and 18 percent of those respondents, respectively.

"This healthy outlook on IT spending is further bolstered by the quality of the spending," said Gary Curtis, managing partner of Accenture's global Strategic IT Effectiveness practice. "Growth initiatives, more than maintenance activities, are driving the rise in investments."

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