Gartner adjusts 2009 IT spend downward again

Worldwide IT spending estimated to drop 6%, total US$3.2 trillion

Gartner Tuesday released updated worldwide IT spending numbers that show the ongoing economic recession and declining revenues across all major segments of IT drove forecasts down 6% in 2009 to a total of US$3.2 trillion.

Gartner adjusted its previous 2009 spending forecast downward this week to a decline of 6%, rather than the 3.8% the research firm estimated in March. The research firm attributes the adjustment to continued weak IT spending and declining revenue across all four major IT segments: hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications.

"While the global economic downturn shows signs of easing, this year IT budgets are still being cut and consumers will need a lot more persuading before they can feel confident enough to loosen their purse strings," said Richard Gordon, research vice president and head of global forecasting at Gartner, in a statement.

Spending in the hardware segment is down 16.3% since 2008, while investment in software declined 1.6% in the same period, according to Gartner. IT services spend decreased by 5.6% this year and the telecom segment experienced 4.6% negative growth. Gartner expects worldwide IT spending to grow by 2.3% in 2010, average 1.9% annual growth from 2008 through 2013.

Specifically, Gartner forecasts 2010 spending on hardware to remain flat while software will see a 3.2% increase over investment in 2009. IT services will also experience slight growth in 2010 with Gartner projecting 3% growth over this year. And telecommunications will see about 2.3% spending growth next year, the firm predicts.

"The forecast decline in spending growth for the hardware and software segments in 2009 has almost stabilized," Gordon added. "However, the full impact of the global recession on the IT services and telecommunications sector is still emerging and forecast growth in these areas had been further reduced significantly."

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Denise Dubie

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