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Enterprises To Boost 2005 IT Spending 3.9 Percent

Despite some apprehension about business next year, a research firm's survey published Monday said that enterprise-sized companies will spend more in 2005 wider on IT.

According to Forrester Research's survey of over 1,300 IT decision makers in companies with more than 1,000 workers, employer spending for information technology will increase by an average of 3.9 percent in 2005. A year ago, a similar poll found an average increase of just 1.7 percent.

"It affirms the 7 percent increase in overall North American IT spending that Forrester projects for 2005," said Tom Pohlmann, a research director at the Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm, in the report accompanying the survey results. "[That] includes spending by small and medium businesses, as well as spending outside IT departments."

One of the reasons why spending will grow at a fast clip, said their IT managers, is that more than half of them -- 54 percent -- have a positive outlook for their business in 2005. That's a 10 percentage point increase over last year's poll, and consistent, said Pohlmann, with the gradually increasing confidence that Forrester measured throughout 2004. In the first quarter, for example, only 33 percent of the chief information officers surveyed described their current business climate as strong or very strong.

Security remains one of the top line items scheduled for spending increases in 2005, noted Forrester, but it's no longer number one. Instead, it's slipped on the priority list to number four, with last year's number three -- deploying or upgrading a major software package -- jumping to the first spot.

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