Five top spending priorities for hard times

Which areas of IT spending will get funded when money is tight? We roll together projections from Forrester, Gartner, and IDC with answers from real-world CIOs

No company is immune from the economy's ebb and flow. So it's no surprise that, in the face of a fearsome downturn, IT shops are scrambling to figure out where they should cut.

The big three analyst firms -- Forrester, Gartner and, IDC -- are busily slashing their IT spending projections. Just last week IDC predicted that in the United States, IT spending will decline to negative 0.9 percent, down sharply from a pre-crisis forecast of 4.2 percent growth.

With numbers like those, IT might feel inclined to panic. But now is the time to stand tough, advises Andrew Reichman, senior analyst at Forrester Research. "Companies should tighten their belts, not take their pants off," he admonishes.

At brokerage and investment banking firm Morgan Keegan, for example, CIO John Threadgill acknowledges that he has to "come up with better reasons" for the technologies to which he allocates IT resources. But after he eliminates or delays costs where feasible, Threadgill and his CIO colleagues must continue investing in certain areas, no matter how crazily the economy bounces up or down. "We'll continue to spend where we need to," says Threadgill.

So which technologies get funded rain or shine? InfoWorld consulted a range analysts and CIOs to arrive at a consensus: the five technologies IT shops must continue to invest in despite the recession. The common theme, says IDC chief analyst and senior vice president Frank Gens, is that "any technologies that can save companies money or reduce expenses will continue to thrive."

1. Storage: Disks and management software

"There are some things that just won't go back in the bottle," says Mark Raskino, Gartner fellow and vice president of emerging trends and technologies. "Storage is one of those."

Data keeps piling up and regulatory compliance mandates require that companies hold onto data longer than they've ever had to. To that end, IDC continues to estimate that spending on disk storage will double every two years, at least through 2012.

Another growth area will be "storage management tools that help IT get better use out of the hardware they already have," says Steve Minton, vice president of worldwide IT markets at IDC.

Forrester's Reichman suggests that thin provisioning, data de-duplication, and storage virtualization will prove worthy of investment. "Data de-duplication can improve performance, success rates, these types of things ... while storage virtualization is a way to be more flexible and move data nondisruptively."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags IT spendingfinancial crisisglobal recession

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Sullivan

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?