IT budgets stagnate

IT budgets face a painful overhaul in 2009 with average growth running at a meagre 0.16%, according to a major survey of over 1,500 CIOs by Gartner.

And a smaller but similar survey by Forrester Research suggested that global spending on IT goods and services would drop by 3% this year to $1.66 trillion, the first annual decline since the dot-com crash seven years ago.

Gartner analyst Mark McDonald said 21% of CIOs interviewed for the study reported a cut in their IT budgets, while 46% reported only a slight increase.

“All CIOs will face the need to restructure their budgets, cutting in some areas and investing in others, including those reporting no change in their overall spending level,” says Gartner analyst Mark McDonald.

Spending priorities centred on business optimisation technologies, particularly business process improvement and business intelligence. “Reducing enterprise costs” was also a priority ranked ominously high.

Meanwhile, Forrester’s report highlighted how the slump would extend globally. While growth would be slightly better in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa than in the US and Western Europe, “unlike in past years, there are no significant growth markets to offset the weak ones,” says the analyst group.

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