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Aberdeen finds light at the end of the spending tunnel

There appears to be a light turning on at the end of the IT spending tunnel, according to a survey undertaken this summer by Aberdeen Group, a Boston-based consulting firm. The survey found that senior information technology executives plan to increase technology budgets by approximately 3.7% over the next six months to a year.

The latest results compare favorably to a February Aberdeen survey that found IT managers planning to decrease budgets by 1.4%. Thus, said Aberdeen analyst Hugh Bishop, ''this expected budget increase is indicative of a nascent resurgence in IT spending. We expect IT purchasing to recover gradually, however, and are not forecasting a return to the hyper-growth of the late 1990s.''

The study, dubbed the 2002 User Buying Intentions Update, also examines IT buying intentions and priorities in 35 application software categories and 11 technology infrastructure sectors.

Other survey results: 48% of respondents intend to purchase sales force automation applications; 45.2% intend to purchase query, reporting and analysis tools; 44.9% intend to purchase help desk and field service applications; 44.7% intend to purchase finance and accounting systems; and 44.2% intend to purchase data mining applications.

''Applications with proven track records and definitive ROI will win in the short term; technology suppliers that fail to demonstrate a short payback period for their solutions are likely to find their proposals put on hold until economic conditions improve,'' Bishop continued.

In terms of buying intentions for technology infrastructure, 72% of respondents plan to purchase network and system management applications; 60% plan to purchase security gateways and services; 52% plan to purchase storage management solutions; 52% plan to purchase application development tools; and 48% plan to purchase backup and recovery software.

Even with increased spending, Bishop concluded that IT managers ''continue to be most concerned with protecting and preserving their existing IT investments and are less concerned with building additional integration points,'' he noted.

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.

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