< 1 min read

Gartner urges IT to be ready for bad times

Worldwide tech spending crosses $3 trillion mark, but recession prospects cloud bright forecast

Gartner Inc. is predicting that technology spending worldwide this year will reach $3.1 trillion, an eight per cent increase over the previous year. But don’t break out the party favours to mark the first time IT spending has crossed the trillion-dollar mark.

Even though Gartner expects technology spending to continue its upward trend next year as well — growing another 5.5 per cent to $3.3 trillion in 208 — the research firm’s analysts were warning attendees at its large ITexpo conference here that the economic picture is uncertain.

“We see the potential of troubled times ahead,” said Peter Sondergaard, the head of research at Gartner. The combined problems of the housing market, credit crunch, energy costs and rapid changes in the dollar exchange rate may lead to cost-cutting, he said.

Sondergaard urged ITexpo attendees — who were expected to total 6,000 — to create two IT budgets. “The first should reflect the same kind of marginal growth prepared over the last six years,” he said. “The second should assume the need to cut costs in response to the arrival of a recession.”

“He is offering good advice,” said Loren Jenkins, a chief financial officer at a mortgage banking firm he didn’t want identified.

“We are in fairly uncertain times at the moment, and by having organizational preparedness you are better positioned to face whatever events might come up in the next 12 to 18 months,” Jenkins said.