A report issued Monday by private investment company Bain Capital indicated that, despite the numerous disruptions to the technology industry\u2014including a global supply chain crisis and Russia\u2019s invasion of Ukraine\u2014most IT decision makers foresee either stable budgets or increases for the coming year.\n\nOver the past two years, the pandemic\u2019s effects on that figure have been noticeable\u2014at the onset, less than half of those polled said that they expected anything but a decrease in their budget for the coming year. The number changed rapidly as the economy emerged from the worst effects of the COVID crisis, however, with 75% in 2021 and 90% in 2022 saying that they expected stable or increasing budgets to come.\n\nThat number shrank in the latest report\u2014to 77%\u2014but that\u2019s still an indicator of strong demand for products and services in a sector that\u2019s still facing more than its share of headwinds, according to the head of Bain\u2019s global technology practice, David Crawford.\n\n\u201cCIOs and CTOs are increasing their technology spending,\u201d he wrote in the report. \u201cOf course, there may be budget pressure in the future, but over the long term, to them\u2014and to us\u2014tech is not so much a cost as an investment that spurs productivity.\u201d\n\nMuch of the report is devoted to vendors and their potential best moves to weather a tough economic situation, which offers some insight into what IT departments can expect from companies they deal with in the future. \n\nAlong with changes to streamline sales and reduce travel, businesses can expect some of their vendors to move in the direction of consumption-based pricing, thanks to higher demand for that model, and to do more strategic work around product development, as Bain\u2019s research shows that return on investment for R&D spending is frequently not at the level that management is looking for.\n\nThe chip shortage, according to Bain, is gradually easing, but recovery isn\u2019t unlikely to be particularly fast or painless. Given global economic conditions, a simple lessening of demand may be one of the most important contributing factors to the silicon market\u2019s recovery, and the company\u2019s researchers identified two other factors likely to determine how short\u2014or long\u2014the recovery is.\n\nExtreme ultraviolet lithography equipment\u2014$150 million machines that are necessary for the latest generation of silicon, and are only made by one manufacturer\u2014represents a present bottleneck to building out fabrication capability. \n\nMoreover, geopolitical friction among numerous countries presents its own stumbling blocks to recovery, as import restrictions make it difficult to source key resources. Russia\u2019s restriction on the sale of noble gases like neon, which is important to silicon fabrication, Japan\u2019s tightening of control over the supply of high-purity hydrogen fluoride, and similar trade issues are likely to exacerbate the chip shortage in the short term unless those issues can be resolved.