IT spending will increase in the latter half of 2003, which could indicate a more significant turnaround in 2004, according to the results of a Gartner survey.
The Gartner Technology Demand Index, a monthly economic indicator service, said US businesses spent closer to their budgeted dollar amount in July than they did in early 2003.
Gartner’s most recent poll of 20,000 IT decision makers from small, midsize and large companies shows recorded spending averages of 95.1 in July, up from numbers in the 80s during March and April.
The index rates how close actual spending relates to budgeted spending.
For example, an index reading of 100 would indicate that the companies spent exactly what they had predicted. Including the average recordings in July, companies have been hovering around the 90s on the Gartner Technology Demand Index for three consecutive months.
Software spending in July actually exceeded the 100 score, as companies registered a score of 107.3. Hardware spending came in at 88.8; networking and telecommunications, 89.1; and IT services, 95.5.
"The underlying data still reflects a conservative market that is focused on cost control," Gartner senior vice-president and general manager, David Hankin, said.
"Based on the trends we are seeing, we are optimistic that spending will return to or exceed budgeted levels for the fourth quarter this year," he said.
The poll also ranks vendors in terms of purchasers’ preferences.
A high ranking in Gartner’s demand index could indicate which companies will be seeing a rise in demand in 2004.
Among the top scorers in the most recent poll were Microsoft, Dell, Cisco and IBM. Among 400 vendors included, the four vendors ranked across various product and service offerings.
AT&T and HP services, software maintenance and support also received ratings in the demand index.