Gartner: IT spending flat this year

Global spending on IT will be totally flat this year as the recession constrains technology budgets.

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Global spending on IT will be totally flat this year as the recession constrains technology budgets, according to a new report.

Analyst house Gartner said in its ‘Dataquest Alert’ report that spending would sit at $2.7 trillion (£1.9 trillion) for the full year, only a 0.5 percent growth on last year.

Budgets in the financial services industry will be worst hit, Gartner predicted, but they will not fall heavily. A slippage of 0.7 percent is expected in those budgets, to $554 billion. Manufacturing budgets will slide 0.6 percent to $480 billion.

But several sectors will increase their IT spending this year, the report said. Public sector budgets will grow 2.1 percent to $428 billion, budgets in the healthcare sector would rise 2.2 percent to $88 billion – partly boosted by government spending - and utility companies would spend 2.9 percent more than last year, hitting the $132 billion mark.

John-David Lovelock, research VP at Gartner, said IT budgets had been hit by the recession.

“Internal spending, hardware and system integration in the financial sector were particularly hard-hit in 2008 and will continue suffering through 2009,” he added. “In contrast, healthcare grew 8.3 percent worldwide in 2008, and utilities grew 7.7 percent.”

A report last week by TechMarketView stated there would be two years of contraction in British firms' spending on software and IT services, with any investments directed at cost cutting. Anthony Miller, analyst at the company, told Computerworld UK the prevailing attitude among IT directors is "make do and mend".