The IT industry is exiting its worst year ever, as worldwide IT spending is on pace to decline 5.2 percent, according to Gartner.
The IT industry will return to growth with 2010 IT spending forecast to total $3.3 trillion, a 3.3 percent increase from 2009.
Gartner provided the latest outlook for the IT industry during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place in Orlando through October 22. While IT spending will increase next year, Gartner cautioned IT leaders not to be overly optimistic.
"While the IT industry will return to growth in 2010, the market will not recover to 2008 revenue levels before 2012," said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research. "2010 is about balancing the focus on cost, risk, and growth. For more than 50 percent of CIOs the IT budget will be 0 percent or less in growth terms. It will only slowly improve in 2011."
The computing hardware market has struggled more than other segments with worldwide hardware spending forecast to total $317 billion in 2009, a 16.5 percent decline. In 2010, spending on hardware spending will be flat. Worldwide telecom spending is on pace to decline 4 percent in 2009 with revenue of nearly $1.9 trillion. In 2010, telecom spending is forecast to grow 3.2 percent. Worldwide IT services spending is expected to total $781 billion in 2009, and it is forecast to grow 4.5 percent in 2010. Worldwide software spending is forecast to decline 2.1 percent in 2009, and the segment is projected to grow 4.8 percent in 2010.
From a budget perspective, there are three important items that IT leaders must consider in 2010:
1. A Shift from Capital Expenditure to Operational Expenditure in the IT Budget - Concepts such as cloud services will accelerate this shift. IT costs become scalable and elastic. CIOs need to model the economic impact of IT on the overall financial performance of an organization. For public companies, they must show how IT improves earnings per share (EPS).
2. Impact of the Increased Age of IT Hardware - With delayed purchases of servers, PCs and printers likely to continue into 2010, organizations must start to assess the impact of increased equipment failure rates, and if current financial write-off periods are still appropriate. Approximately 1 million servers have had their replacement delayed by a year. That is 3 percent of the global installed base. In 2010, it will be at least 2 million. "If replacement cycles do not change, almost 10 percent of the server installed base will be beyond scheduled replacement be 2011," Mr. Sondergaard said. "That will impact enterprise risk. CFOs need to understand this dynamic, and it?s the responsibility of the CIO to convey this in a way the CFO understands."
3. IT Must Learn to Build Compelling Business Cases - 2010 marks the year in which IT needs to demonstrate true line of sight to business objectives for every investment decision. IT leaders can no longer look at IT as a percentage of revenue. CIOs must benchmark IT according to business impact.
Mr. Sondergaard said three additional topics that were important in 2009 will continue to dominate IT leaders' agendas in 2010. These three topics include
* Business Intelligence - Users will continue to expand their investments in this area with the focus moving from "in here" to "out there"
* Virtualization - IT leaders should not just invest in the server and data center environment, but in the entire infrastructure. In 2010, users will create the cornerstone for the cloud infrastructure. They will enable the infrastructure to move from owned to shared.
* Social Media - Organizations are starting to scale their efforts in this space. The technologies are improving and organizations realize this is not only about digital natives. It?s about all client segments including the most significant: the population in the next 10 years, the above 60 year old generations.