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10/20/2009
05:57 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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Gartner's Tepid IT Spending Forecast

Gartner predicts a 3.3% increase in IT spending next year, after plunging in 2009. And more than half of CIOs likely will see no increase, or a cut.



Gartner predicts a 3.3% increase in IT spending next year, after plunging in 2009. And more than half of CIOs likely will see no increase, or a cut.Gartner's estimating that 2009 worldwide IT spending will finish the year down 5.2%, with enterprise IT spending down 6.9%. Spending won't return to 2008 levels before 2012, predicts Peter Sondergaard, Gartner global head of Research: "2010 is about balancing the focus on cost, risk, and growth."

Sondergaard says business intelligence, virtualization, and social media will carry over from 2009 and continue to dominate IT leaders' agendas. Emerging categories on the agenda include "context-aware computing," operational technology (sensors, etc., for real-time feedback/control), and pattern-based strategy (reacting to leading indicators.)

As Sondergaard suggests, cost cutting will stay a big mission for IT departments next year. IT spending alone won't necessarily tell people whether their employer is preparing for growth, though;IT pros need to hone in at what a company's spending on, as well as what it's cutting. During a networking session of our InformationWeek 500 conference last month, I talked with an IT leader who's under cost-cutting pressure, but also investing in customer-facing infrastructure. The leadership's convinced that any recovery will place entirely new demands on IT given how integral the Web--and increasingly the mobile Web--has become to the research-buy-own cycle. If anything, this year will put CIOs under more pressure to both cut costs and drive growth.

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