IT budgets hold up despite downturn

IT budgets hold up despite downturn

Spending remains steady, reports Gartner

IT budgets seem to be holding up despite the economic downturn, according to new research from Gartner.

A survey of 1,000 chief information officers found that 62 per cent of companies are not changing their IT budgets, and 23 per cent reported a drop in funding. The average drop was around 10 per cent.

"The majority of CIOs reported no change in their 2008 committed budgets," said Mark McDonald, group vice president and head of research at Gartner Executive Programs.

"This indicates that IT budgets are not the 'target rich' environment for cost cutting that they have been in the past. But there is still some softness, particularly in the US."

CIOs responding to the study reported that IT budgets are still growing, even in the US, but that growth rates are muted slightly.

Historically, the revised numbers are in keeping with the past four years where IT budget increases have averaged 2.4 per cent, according to the report.

However, very few departments reported gains in funding for the coming year. The strongest growth was seen in the Far East, where budgets rose by an average of over five per cent.

The biggest falls were in the US, but European budgets showed evidence of modest growth.

"We are seeing caution, rather than wholesale cutting, as CIOs have exercised increasing diligence in managing IT spending over the past few years," said McDonald.