Increased spending on IT looks further off than ever, according to the latest findings from Goldman Sachs and Gartner Group.
According to a survey of nearly 400 executives and attendees at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo earlier this month, 60 per cent said their company IT budgets had been changed over the past three months, with decreases outweighing budget increases.
But the largest share of respondents - 41 per cent - said their budgets had remained unchanged over the past three months.
The survey found that 46 per cent of respondents expected their IT budgets to remain flat for the rest of the year with the remainder split between increases and decreases.
While spending has long been considered to be at a low point, the survey revealed the rather longer-than-expected delay in any potential return to broad IT spending.
According to Goldman Sachs, the survey further underlined its belief that IT vendors are not only facing a tough second quarter, but that the lower spending levels will last well into 2003.
That led the investment bank to further cut its earnings estimates for a number of IT companies.
These included leading software vendors PeopleSoft, SAP, Siebel Systems, Check Point Software and Rational Software. Goldman said it expected about a third of the 26 named software companies to post declines in software licence sales in this year's second and third quarters.
As with previous studies this year, the bulk of IT spending is set for what is perceived to be key IT areas.
The top three of these areas will be security, storage and web services. The study found that two-thirds of respondents plan to begin working with web services during the next two years.
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