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, when budgets were slashed from mid-double digit to single digit growth.
"In a worst case scenario, our research indicates an IT spending increase of 2,3% in 2009, down from our earlier projection of 5,8%," says Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research.
"Developed economies, especially the US and Western Europe, will be the worst affected, but emerging regions will not be immune. Europe will experience negative growth in 2009, while the US and Japan will be flat."
The IT industry went through more dramatic reductions during, and after, the recession of 2001 and Sondergaard says 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.
"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 the fact that it is embedded in running all aspects of the business.
In addition, the shift to multi-year IT programmes is aligned with business, and they are difficult to cut immediately. Also, IT spending decreases lag the economy by at least two quarters.