UK CIOs expect their budgets to shrink by just under seven per cent this year, according to the latest survey from Gartner.

The global survey of over 2,000 CIOs forecasted an overall rise in IT budgets of 1 per cent, but EMEA IT bosses dragged the figure down, with UK CIOs reporting the biggest hits to 2011 spending plans.

The results paint a rosy picture for infrastructure services such as cloud computing, according to Gartner head of research Mark McDonald, in order to stretch the resources they still have.

The analyst house predicted global investment in cloud services to pick up significantly over the next four years. In 2010, only three per cent of CIO said they had the majority of their IT running in the cloud or on Saas technologies. This is expected to rise to 43 per cent by 2015.

This adoption will reduce the average amount of IT budget spent on day-to-day operations from 66 per cent at the moment to up to half that amount, according to the survey.

Despite the emphasis on shrinking budgets, CIOs will be expected to support business growth with that strategy ranking the highest in their perception of business priorities within their organisations for the year.

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