Most IT Projects Delayed Not Cancelled

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Computing projects are being delayed, for the most part, rather than canceled, due to the impact of the economy

Gartner is reporting that the weakened global economy has caused more computing projects to be delayed than canceled, based on interviews conducted from late February through early March with 475 IT decision makers across nine countries.

Gartner expects the area of IT hardware, including PCs, servers, storage and printing systems, to be hardest hit, with declines around 14.9 percent and a lag extending into 2010. Overall IT spending is also expected to decline in 2009, by approximately 3.7 percent, though it is expected to rebound the following year to a tune of 2.4 percent growth.

“Enterprise belt-tightening has had a tremendous impact on the client computing technology segment, with 43 percent of respondents expecting a decrease in spending on client computing hardware in 2009 compared with 2008,” said Andrew Johnson, managing vice president at Gartner, in a statement on the report.

By country and industry, however, survey responses were found to vary. While 48 percent of all respondents stated that some of their PC projects would be deployed as planned in 2009, 85 percent of the respondents in China and 64 percent of respondents in India were more optimistic, expecting most of their projects to carry on as planned.

In the United States, only 29 percent of respondents expected projects to continue as originally planned, and in France, only 18 percent did, Johnson reported.

In media, insurance and consumer business services industries, respondents were most on track with their plans. In telecommunications, wholesale and agriculture, mining and construction, spending reductions were common. Retail, utilities and wholesale companies reported postponements were more likely, and in discrete manufacturing, cancellations were above average.

In the financial services sector, Johnson wrote in the Gartner statement, “only 1 out of 45 respondents … indicated PC purchase plans were canceled, and in this sector, reduced, postponed, and as-planned responses came in near the averages.”

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