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IT Spending Confidence Fell In 2008

IT spending confidence among enterprise decision-makers dropped five points from October to November, according to a bimonthly report.

CDW IT Monitor said that decision-makers' decreasing expectations about growth drove its index to a 2008 low. However, most large companies (84%) and mid-size businesses (77%) plan to buy new hardware. Eighty-seven percent of large companies and 78% of mid-size businesses plan to buy software.

"Despite market changes, many organizations continue to recognize the value of IT as a strategic investment," CDW VP Mark Gambill said in a statement. "Companies that use IT as a mechanism to achieve greater productivity and efficiencies in this tough time will have a better chance of coming out of this economic downturn with greater momentum."

Still, 20% of decision-makers predict budget cuts in the first half of this year. That's up eight percentage points from October. About 30% of all government IT decision makers foresee budget cuts in the next six months. That includes 38% of state IT decision makers and 19% of federal IT decision makers. Those percentages are up about 7.5% from October.

The number of respondents who expect staff reductions also grew as 2008 ended. Five percent of decision-makers at businesses with 99 employees or less said in December that they plan to cut staff. That's up from 3% in October. Ten percent of those at companies with 100 to 999 employees expect staff cuts, compared to 4% in October. And, 16% of those at businesses with 100 employees or more predict staff reductions, compared with 7% in October.

The outlook has dimmed significantly from previous predictions in the first three quarters of 2008.