Forrester: IT Spending Slump 'Unofficially Over'

Ann All

A few months ago, I wrote about the brightening outlook of some analysts and other observers, who seemed to think the technology market would begin to rebound in 2010. HP CEO Mark Hurd and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer were among those predicting, albeit cautiously, an uptick in IT spending.


A Robert Half Management Resources survey found the largest proportion of CFO respondents, 40 percent, said they'd invest in new IT systems or upgrades of existing ones when the economy recovers. (Though as I pointed out in my glass-half-empty way, the next biggest proportion, 19 percent, said they'd make no new investments.)


With some global economic indicators improving, Forrester Research is calling an end to the IT spending slumps of 2008 and 2009, albeit an "unofficial" one. An InformationWeek story quotes a statement from Forrester principal analyst Andrew Bartels:

The technology downturn of 2008 and 2009 is unofficially over.

Forrester predicts worldwide IT spending will increase 8.1 percent in 2010, hitting more than $1.6 trillion. Welcome news, coming on the heels of last year's 8.9 percent drop in global IT spending. In the United States, Forrester expects IT spending to grow 6.6 percent in 2010 to $568 billion, bouncing back from an 8.2 percent decline this year.


Buoyed by a strong euro, the strongest growth in 2010 will happen in Western and Central Europe, where tech purchases will rise by 11.2 percent. Growth rates for the rest of the world: Canada (9.9 percent), Asia Pacific (7.8 percent) and Latin America (7.7 percent). Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa will all see growth of just 2.4 percent. When measured against local currency, however, the United States will post the strongest growth of all the regional tech markets, Forrester points out.


This summer, Forrester -- and other analysts -- predicted companies that had delayed desktop spending and avoided Microsoft's Windows Vista would be ready to spend on Windows 7.

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