Gartner's newest forecast is more pessimistic than what InformationWeek heard when we surveyed 605 IT decision-makers on IT spending plans in October 2011.
Slideshow: Windows 8 Upgrade Plans: Exclusive Research
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Global IT spending growth in 2012 will only reach 3.7%, according to research firm Gartner, a downward adjustment from the firm's Q3 2011 dollar growth forecast of of 4.6%.
Gartner attributes its reappraisal to flagging economic growth around the world, the eurozone debt crisis, and the effect of last year's flooding in Thailand, which continues to limit the production of hard disk drives (HDD).
"We expect all four major technology sectors, computing hardware, enterprise software, IT services, and telecommunications equipment and services to experience slower IT spending growth in the coming year than previously forecast," Gartner Research VP Richard Gordon said in market analysis published on Monday.
Gartner sees the computing hardware sector experiencing the most significant slowdown, due to constrained HDD supplies through the first six months of 2012 and to cautious spending and political uncertainty, particularly in Western Europe.
Gartner's forecast appears to be somewhat more pessimistic than what InformationWeek heard from the 605 IT decision-makers that we surveyed in October 2011.
While there's plenty of caution to be seen--30% of companies expect a hiring freeze despite growing interest in data center, social, and tablet technologies--some 56% of InformationWeek survey respondents said they anticipate increased IT spending while 16% expect cuts. Two years ago, only 46% of companies foresaw increased spending while 24% projected slashed spending.
And the hiring picture looks better too, albeit modestly. Two years ago, only 14% of companies were hiring while 18% were firing. Today, some 25% see expanded hiring while only 9% expect cutbacks. A larger portion still, 30%, see a hiring freeze while 36% are hiring only to fill vacated positions.
Although constrained HDD availability may well limit sales of computers among companies, the sales challenge facing PC makers could work to the advantage of tablet makers, since tablets use flash memory rather than HDD storage. Last year, 55% of InformationWeek survey respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed that a significant number of customers would interact with their companies using tablets.
But our more recent survey indicates that figure has declined to 37%. Clearly, tablets are becoming more meaningful to organizations, even if some 20% of respondents in both 2010 and 2011 said they have no idea what their organization's tablet strategy should be.
InformationWeek is conducting our third annual State of Enterprise Storage survey on data management technologies and strategies. Upon completion, you will be eligible to enter a drawing to receive an Apple 32-GB iPod Touch. Take our Enterprise Storage Survey now. Survey ends Jan. 6.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 25, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."