IT budgets are likely to remain steady next year, according to a poll of IT managers at major companies in German-speaking countries.

According to the survey, which is part of consultants Capgemini’s annual IT Trends Study, 39 percent of IT managers polled see IT budgets little changed, while 21 percent expect cuts. Thirty-five percent of chief information officers expect to spend more on IT.

IT managers expect to spend 16.3 percent of their budgets on IT innovations, up 1.7 percentage point from a year earlier. The increase contrasts with a downward trend in recent years.

Capgemini interviewed 173 CIOs at major companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The interviews were conducted in October. The full trends study will be available in January.

CIOs expect to spend 32 percent of their innovation budget on infrastructure management, 27 percent on application development and the rest for the management of business processes.

CIOs plan to reduce budgets for infrastructure by 4 percentage points, while spending slightly more on application development and business processes.

“The virtualization of infrastructure has brought cost benefits,” said Uwe Dumslaff, CTO at Capgemini Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Many companies are using the funds that have been freed up to expand software for mobile applications and Web 2.0, he added.

For 2012, 35 percent of CIOs assumed stable budgets, 37 percent saw an increase, while slighly less than 20 percent expected budget cuts.

Despite growth in selected areas, the number of CIOS who were worried about the impact of budget cuts rose to 44 percent from 34 pc a year earlier. Fifty-nine percent feared consequences for companies’ competitiveness, up from 49 percent.