Where IT leaders are spending during the pandemic: 5 things to know

Hospitals and health systems have had their budget projections upended by the coronavirus, as elective procedures are canceled or postponed and resources are diverted to treating patients with COVID-19.

Companies across the world are experiencing a similar shift, as they divert IT spend to support the COVID-19 response. According to a report from International Data Corp., reported on in The Wall Street Journal, companies are moving away from spending on IT hardware and investing in cloud services, artificial intelligence and other tools that will help cut costs and boost revenue.

Here are five things to know about IT spend during the pandemic.

1. IT spend is increasing on cloud services and laptops and other tools to support employees working from home.

 "As a result of COVID-19, there's a premium on agility, and the cloud and associated services can give enterprises a high degree of agility," International Data Corp CEO Crawford Del Prete told The Journal.

2. Organizations can purchase capacity on an as-needed basis from cloud services, and many health systems are increasing capacity to deal with COVID-19. The cloud can also be a cost-saving mechanism, because health systems can shift away from expensive in-house data centers and servers.

3. Companies and health systems have continued to invest in artificial intelligence and other software tools to analyze data and automate processes. For example, Bayhealth and local emergency medical services partnered with Twiage, an app that replaces phone and radio calls between EMS and hospitals before patients arrive at the hospital. OSF Ventures, a division of Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare, also joined a $16 million funding round for digital health company SilverCloud on April 10.

4. The outlook for annual global IT spend may drop 1 percent, or $2.3 trillion this year, according to a March International Data Corp report.

5. In March, 19,000 IT jobs were cut in the U.S., according to CompTIA, a top IT trade associaton.

More articles on health IT:

10 things for CIOs to know as COVID-19 spreads, and recovery planning begins
The tech needed to reopen the economy: 5 things to know
How Mayo Clinic created a digital toolset that can detect COVID-19 exposures within hours

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