A majority of business and information technology executives polled by Accenture ( ACN) anticipate IT spending will rise over the next three years. The annual study, released Thursday, surveyed 300 executives at U.S. companies with average revenue of $8 billion. Six out of 10 executives expect to spend more on information technology in the next three years. The average spending increase during the next year is estimated to be about 5.5%. Only 13% of those surveyed believe company IT costs will decline. For those who anticipate spending to increase, 21 % cited new business initiatives as the primary factor driving IT spending. Upgrading legacy systems (19%) and adopting new technologies (18%) also topped the list for increased expenditures. "This healthy outlook on IT spending is further bolstered by the quality of the spending," Gary Curtis, managing partner of Accenture's global strategic IT effectiveness practice, said in a statement. "Growth initiatives, more than maintenance activities, are driving the rise in investments." Additional factors that contribute to the increase in IT spending include costs following a merger or acquisition, regulatory compliance and security requirements. The survey also found that 69 % of executives said IT spending has increased in the last three years.