The majority of economists, however, still expect relative stability in 2007 amid a soft landing for the housing market, and there are a
number of upside drivers for IT investment increases.
These include the launch of major Microsoft software upgrades — most notably Windows Vista — and other upgrade activity focusing on storage, networks, and back-office applications.
“Overall (Vista) doesn’t have a huge net impact over the long term where it has a impact is some of the spending that was held off towards the end of last year is happen now in the first half of ’07,” said Minton.
Security, business intelligence, regulatory compliance, and mobile data solutions remain at the forefront of business priorities. International firms will continue to invest in geographic expansion targeted at emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere.
“There’s a lot of promising things going on,” concluded Minton. “CIOs are telling us they are doing a lot of interesting things. One of the things we didn’t mention which came through pretty strongly in the survey, was the number of companies and CIOs telling us their experimenting pretty heavily with Web-based software applications as well.
Clearly, this is an important trend. It’s a small part of software now — it’s something like three-or-four percent of software spend is on Web based software — but it’s increasing rapidly.”
The study provides an analysis of a major survey of 205 firms in the United States, conducted in the final weeks of 2006. Survey respondents were asked to identify their IT budget and spending plans for the next 12 months, including prioritization of technology products and solutions.
Surveys were conducted via a Web-based panel, with respondents qualified as having decision-making responsibility for IT investment. Respondents were collected according to quotas for CIOs/IT departments and company size classes (segmented by number of employees).