IT budgets in 2017 are expected to remain relatively flat across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to a new report from Spiceworks, a professional network for the industry.

The network’s 2017 State of IT study is based on a survey of 886 IT professionals in those regions conducted in July 2016. The survey data was supplemented with Spiceworks network data collected in September 2016, based on anonymized, aggregated deployment data from IT professionals worldwide.

About two thirds (64%) of the respondents anticipate IT headcount will remain flat in 2017, despite an expectation that company revenues will increase. Nearly 30% of IT professionals say global political and economic uncertainty directly affects their organization’s willingness to purchase IT products and services.

Slightly less than half (47%) agree that economic and political uncertainty causes their organization to reconsider what countries they store corporate data in, and 37% say it causes their organization to reconsider what countries they purchase technology products and services from. “A confluence of global events, such as political instability, slow economic growth, and unexpected affairs like the UK’s pending exit from the European Union have left IT professionals with more questions than answers as they relate to both short-term and long-term effects on their organization,” said Sanjay Castelino, vice president of marketing at Spiceworks.

“We expect IT departments to take a more cautious, conservative approach to IT investments in 2017 as they manage new regulations, fluctuating exchange rates, and other seen and unforeseen challenges,” Castelino said.

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