Forrester: IT Spending To Rebound In 2010

New era of Smart Computing dawning as technologies of awareness married to advanced business intelligence analytics make computing smart, analyst Bartels asserts

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Cambridge, MA — January 14, 2010 — After a dismal performance in 2009, the technology sector will see a recovery in 2010 as businesses and governments in the U.S. and around the world begin spending again on information technology, according to a new report by Forrester Research.

After declining 8.2 percent in 2009, U.S. IT spending will grow 6.6 percent in 2010 to $568 billion, Forrester predicted in its report, "U.S. And Global IT Market Outlook: Q4 2009." Global IT spending, which dropped 8.9 percent last year, will rise 8.1 percent in 2010 to more than $1.6 trillion, the analysts wrote.

Software and computer hardware are projected to see the greatest growth, as Forrester forecasts a new multi-year cycle of technology investment growth and innovation defined by "Smart Computing." The Forrester forecast provides vendor strategy professionals with recommendations regarding how to align their sales and marketing efforts to the current and future environment for IT spending.

"The technology downturn of 2008 and 2009 is unofficially over," said Andrew Bartels, Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst. "All the pieces are in place for a 2010 tech spending rebound. In the U.S., the tech recovery will be much stronger than the overall economic recovery, with technology spending growing at more than twice the rate of gross domestic product (GDP) this year."

With regard to sector growth, hardware and software will lead the charge, according to Forrester. Measured in U.S. dollars, global purchases of computer equipment are anticipated to be up 8.2 percent, communications equipment buying will rise by 7.6 percent, software spending will increase by 9.7 percent, purchases of IT consulting and systems integration services will grow by 6.8 percent, and IT outsourcing services will be 7.1 percent higher.

On a regional basis, Europe will be the strongest performing region. Measured in U.S. dollars, the strongest growth in 2010 will be in Western and Central Europe, where tech purchases will rise by 11.2 percent, boosted by the dollar's decline against the euro.

IT purchases in Canada will grow by 9.9 percent, Asia Pacific by 7.8 percent, and Latin America by 7.7 percent. The weakest market will be Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, rising by just 2.4 percent. When measured against local currency, however, the U.S. will actually post the strongest growth of all the regional tech markets.

"We are entering a new six- to seven-year cycle of IT growth and innovation that Forrester calls 'Smart Computing,'" Bartels added. "New technologies of awareness married to advanced business intelligence analytics make computing smart."

"Smart Computing," Bartels said, rests on new foundation technologies such as service-oriented architecture, server and storage virtualization, cloud computing, and unified communications. The year ahead, the analyst concluded, "marks the beginning of this next phase of technology advancement."