More than half of all midsized companies interviewed for an IBM-commissioned study late last year plan to boost their IT spending in 2011.

Of the 2,112 companies polled, 53 pc projected an increase, which compares with only 20 pc in a similar study conducted in 2009.

No change was budgeted by 31 pc of the companies, while 16 pc were planning lower IT spending.

“Our study underscores that the positive economic development is also having an impact on investements in IT, said Doris Albiez, vice president business partnerships and midsized companies at IBM Germany.

The study, “Inside the Midmarket: A 2011 Perspective,” surveyed companies with between 100 and 1,000 employees from many different industries in more than 20 countries. The survey was conducted by US market researchers KS&R.

Companies in growth markets were more likely to boost IT spending than those in more mature markets. In China, Brazil, India, Korea and Singapore, more than 7 out of 10 midsized companies said they were planning a 2011 IT budget increase.

Across all companies, decision makers placed high value on IT infrastructure improvements. Other priorities were: collaboration, business analytics, business performance management, virtualization and Cloud computing.

In retail, transportation, consumer products companies and banks, specific investments were planned for CRM, social media and business analytics.

The study cited different priorities for midsized companies in different parts of the world. In Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Spain, France, South Africa, Poland and Germany, decision makers saw maintaining the viability of core IT systems as critical.

In Russia, New Zealand, Singapore and Mexico, disaster recovery and business continuity were top 2011 IT priorities.

And in Brazil, South Africa and New Zealand, companies were also planning to invest in financial management systems.

A copy of the IBM study is available here.