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2009 Prediction: IT Spending Drops, IBM loses

According to Matt Asay’s column on CNET, Goldman Sachs’ November IT Spending Survey projects a 5% decline in IT spending in North America, Europe and Japan; and a 7% increase in IT spending in the developing economies. Goldman Sachs predicts a 1% net decline of IT spending in 2009 over all world economies. This comes after two years of steady IT spending increases. IT workers in emerging market economies, compared to those in the G7 economies, will have a relatively brighter and progressively improving employment market.

The November report also discusses vendor market share, and sees both IBM and Sun in decline, but Hewlett-Packard and Dell doing relatively better. IBM, in fact, loses share for the first time in the history of the Goldman Sachs survey. Oracle, on the other hand, will gain market share.

IT budgets continue to be weighted 75% toward Operating Expenditures (OpEx; as opposed to Capital Expenditures [CapEx]), which means that software and systems with monthly or annual licenses will be at an advantage over systems and hardware which are owned. Open Source (FOSS or SaaS) systems will increasingly be favored in such an information economy. The report also asserts that “operating budgets, which comprise staffing and recurring elements such as maintenance, typically have more resilience associated with them, even in downturns . . . ” which is good news for database and system administrators, bad news for developers, project leads, and hardware vendors.

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