Gartner Says IT Spending to Slow in 2009, But Continued Growth Reflects Critical Role of Technology to Business Performance

Analysts to Discuss the Future of IT during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2008, 3-7 November in Cannes, France

(PresseBox) ( Orlando, Fla., )
Global economic problems are impacting IT budgets, but the IT industry will not see the dramatic reductions that were seen during the dot.com bust, according to Gartner, Inc. At that time, budgets were slashed from mid double-digit growth to low single-digit growth.

"In a worst case scenario, our research indicates an IT spending increase of 2.3 per cent in 2009, down from our earlier projection of 5.8 per cent," said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research. "Developed economies, especially the United States and Western Europe, will be the worst affected, but emerging regions will not be immune. Europe will experience negative growth in 2009, the United States and Japan will be flat."

Mr Sondergaard provided the latest outlook for the IT industry during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2008, which is taking place in Orlando through 16 October and in Cannes on 3-7 November. Gartner said the events of the past two weeks will have an impact on IT budgets in the fourth quarter, but it will not change 2008 substantially.

The IT industry went through more dramatic reductions during, and after, the recession of 2001. Mr Sondergaard said many lessons were learned.

"We learned that in tumultuous times, chief executive officers (CEOs) want their executives and managers to be advisors and counsellors, not just great implementers of directions given to them," Mr Sondergaard said. "What they want now most of all is agile leadership. Leadership that can guide us through simultaneous cost control and expansion at the same time."

Organisations now view IT as a way to transform their businesses and adopt operating models that are much leaner. Other reasons that IT will not see more severe reductions include:

- IT is embedded in running all aspects of the business
- The shift to multi-year IT programmes aligned with business, and they are difficult to cut immediately
- IT spending decreases lag the economy by at least two quarters

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Gartner analysts are discussing the key issues facing the IT industry during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. This event is the IT industry's largest and most-strategic conference, providing business leaders with a look at the future of IT. Nearly 6,000 senior business and IT strategists will gather for the insights, tools and solutions they need to ensure their IT initiatives are key contributors to and drivers of their enterprise's success. Gartner's annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees' annual planning efforts. They rely on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency. Additional information is available at www.gartner.com/symposium/us.
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