Two months into the first quarter of 2003, there's still no sign of a substantial rebound in IT spending. The latest indication: a survey by market researcher Forrester forecasting spending growth of 1.9% this year, not even enough to keep up with inflation as measured by either the producer or consumer price index.
This year's forecast compares with growth of 2.3% in 2002, a terrible year for technology companies.
The survey of 877 IT "decision-makers" found that just 35% of the companies surveyed will spend more on hardware, software and services in 2003, and only 26% are planning to increase spending on desktop PCs or workstations.
Insofar as there will be spending, the wish list for IT execs looks like this:
60%of the companies surveyed will buy disaster recovery products.
45% will deploy business intelligence software.
26% of the $1 billion-plus companies will spend $500,000 or more on data storage, servers or networking.
In particular, there was good news for
, which has been feeling the heat as rival
aggressively moves into Siebel's core market -- customer relationship management, or CRM. Of firms that already have enterprise resource management systems in place, 59% would rather buy CRM from a pure-play vendor than from their ERP vendor.
That choice seems contrary to the general movement toward integrated suites, but Forrester Research Director Tom Pohlman notes that many of the buyers are likely to be in the earliest stages of CRM deployments, and thus interested in products such as sales force automation, in which Siebel excels.
Moreover, of those firms buying CRM software who have a preferred vendor, 38% choose Siebel, 17% picked
, 17% favor SAP, and 10% chose
There's no clear winner in the business intelligence sector: Pure-play BI vendor
is favored by 10% of those surveyed, compared with 8% each for SAP and Oracle, and 6% each for
Hardware spending won't be strong, Forrester predicts. For the big-ticket infrastructure purchases of storage and servers, more than one-third of $1 billion-plus companies will spend less than $100,000. When asked who they'll buy servers from, 54% of the respondents picked
, 35% opted for
, 29% picked
, and 14% chose
Protecting infrastructure assets and the data they store is the hottest ticket of 2003 -- 60% of the firms said they will buy disaster recovery products and services this year. Asked to pick a storage vendor, 32% of the IT execs picked
, 30 chose% IBM, 22% picked Hewlett Packard, and 11% opted for Dell.