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US Enterprises Open IT Purse Strings

U.S. companies started out the year with an IT spending bang, said research firm Gartner
U.S. companies started out the year with an IT spending bang, said research firm Gartner on Monday.

According to Gartner's Technology Demand Index (TDI), a monthly indicator of IT spending, the 600-plus U.S. firms surveyed spent all of their budgeted monies for the month, a stark contrast to 2003, when companies on average greatly under spent.

Gartner uses an index value of 100 to denote that spending exactly matched budgets; the TDI for January was 100.

“Stable current spending reported in January means that projected increases in 2004 budgets are beginning to flow through organizations,” said David Hankin, a senior vice president at Gartner, in a statement. “This bodes well for the spending increases foreseen by many IT decision makers and suggests that companies are moving forward with their IT strategies.”

The spending increases aren't due to any budgeting seasonality, added Hankin, who pointed out that half of the firms polled come from companies with fiscal years that don't match the calendar year.

Some spending segments were even higher than anticipated, he said. Desktop PCs, for instance, had a TDI of 117 (meaning that firms typically spent more than they'd budgeted), while IT management rated a TDI of 110.

“Our data suggest that the IT spending confidence hit bottom last year, and managers' confidence is trending up,” Hankin said. “Still, the upward bounce is subtle. We have shifted from stall mode to controlled spending.”