IT Outlook Grim for 2009

Arthur Cole

It shouldn't come as a surprise, but the latest estimates on the health of the IT economy are sobering nonetheless.

Gartner's crystal ball shows downward trends across nearly all sectors of the industry, predicting a market worse than 2001 when we were reeling from the twin blows of the bubble collapse and 9/11.

The worst outlook is in enterprise hardware, which the analyst firm says is on pace to drop by 15 percent this year as companies retrench in the face of their own falling revenues.

Enterprise software and services are expected to barely tread water, boosted by a number of offerings like virtualization that extend the life of existing hardware infrastructures. The company estimates software will eke out a 0.3 percent gain this year, followed by healthier returns in 2010.

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