According to Gartner's Technology Demand Index, a monthly indicator of IT spending, the 600-plus U.S. companies surveyed spent all of their budgeted monies for the month--a stark contrast to 2003, when companies on average greatly underspent.
Gartner uses an index value of 100 to denote that spending exactly matched budgets; the value for January was 100.
"Stable current spending reported in January means that projected increases in 2004 budgets are beginning to flow through organizations," Gartner senior VP David Hankin said 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 companies 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 companies typically spent more than they'd budgeted--while IT management was rated at 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."