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Businesses put technology upgrades on the back burner last year as the economy declined. But recent signs of recovery bode well for spending this year and in 2010.

Microsoft ( MSFT), Oracle ( ORCL), Dell ( DELL) and Cisco ( CSCO) will be obvious benefactors of a tech-investment rebound. But so will firms that help companies maximize their returns and streamline their computer systems.

TheStreet.com Ratings

Montreal-based CGI Group ( GIB) is one of the largest independent information-technology and consulting firms in the world, despite having a market capitalization of just $2.6 billion. The company sells systems-integration and cost-reduction services that remain in demand even in a weak economy.

CGI gains from large contracts with major players in financial services, manufacturing, retail, government, health care, telecommunications and utilities. It also has alliances with IBM ( IBM), SAP ( SAP), Microsoft and Sun Microsystems ( JAVA).

TheStreet.com Ratings upgraded CGI to "buy" on May 19. The company has boosted earnings per share for 10 straight quarters. Revenue rose 2% to C$950 million and earnings climbed 19% to 25 cents in the fiscal second quarter, which ended in March.

The company eliminated nearly $134 million in long-term debt since the prior year's fiscal second quarter. It has also added $104 million in cash and cash equivalents to its balance sheet. CGI's no-dividend policy is an obvious weakness and a common downside of tech companies.

CGI shares have climbed 18% this year, beating the Nasdaq's 15% gain. Despite the strong performance, CGI stock remains undervalued.

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