Out of the 333 executives we polled in November, 54 percent have plans to grow their budgets in 2011. That\u2019s a significant improvement compared to the low point in May 2009, when only 14 percent planned a budget increase.\nWhen it comes to choosing where to direct these funds, IT leaders are gravitating toward mobile solutions. Eighty-seven percent said they consider mobile devices and applications to be a factor in improving employee productivity. Rick Peltz, CIO of brokerage firm Marcus and Millichap, says mobility is crucial to the work of his company\u2019s 1200 brokers. \u201cAny type of mobile device is a big benefit to them and it leverages their ability to foster relationships away from the office.\u201d\n\nPeltz, who recently released a mobile app to the iTunes store for his employees, says he anticipates seeing more spending on mobile in the coming year in part because it will help his company generate more deals.\n\nDee Waddell, group information officer of marketing, sales and customer service for Amtrak, says he sees mobile as a strategic investment and is continuing to explore consumer and enterprise mobile solutions. The company is about to deploy on-board mobile technologies for its electronic ticket initiative. \nNew Projects Expected\nSpending on new projects this year is on the agenda of 57 percent of IT leaders, with 34 percent of that spending going toward projects designed to increase top-line revenue. Applications also ranked high in IT leaders\u2019 spending preferences at 54 percent.\n\nOur results indicate staffing is looking brighter as well. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed plan to increase salaries and 42 percent want to increase headcount. Yet despite the encouraging spending and hiring news, not all companies feel completely out of the woods. Thirty percent of those surveyed said they are still feeling the effects of the recession, with 42 percent still in the process of returning to growth. Follow Editorial Assistant Lauren Brousell on Twitter: @lbrousell.