As we near the final quarter of 2008 and folks consider spending plans for next year, it looks as if many tech budgets are shrinking. Several recent surveys by Janco Associates, Goldman Sachs & Co. and InformationWeek bear this out.
Yet another survey, from CIO.com, appears to confirm the trend. According to the publication's survey of nearly 200 tech executives, 26 percent plan to reduce their budgets over the next 12 months and another 26 percent intend to keep budgets at current levels. And as I've written recently, staffing no longer remains relatively impervious to spending cuts. A quarter of the CIO.com respondents expect to spend less on contractors or temporary workers, while 21 percent plan to trim the ranks of full-time, internal employees.
The approach is "cautious but not negative," says CIO.com blogger Mark Cummuta, president of Triumph CIO Group. It's definitely more conservative than it was earlier this year. When CIO.com questioned tech execs in the spring, just 17 percent said they expected to decrease their budget over the next year, while 20 percent said it would remain the same. Eighteen percent planned to cut budgets for temporary and contract workers, and just 14 percent expected to shrink full-time staff.
Prime areas for budget cuts: outsourced IT services, mentioned by 31 percent of respondents, computer hardware (25 percent) and telecommunications (19 percent).