The IT marketplace in the US is demonstrating a cautious but hopeful belief in the prospects for 2008, despite the unsteady economy.
The IT Monitor index, compiled by Richard Day Research on behalf of integration firm CDW, suggests that IT decision makers are 'somewhat' more encouraged about the direction and momentum of the IT marketplace.
CDW said that its IT Growth Monitor, which measures anticipated investment in IT, registered a score of 69 (up from 63 two months ago) while its IT Value Monitor, which measures the perceived value of IT, scored 76 (up from 74).
"IT decision makers are holding onto some hope for 2008," said CDW vice president Mark Gambill.
"However, even with 2008 budgets approved and IT decision makers looking forward to improving IT resources in the coming months, the 'green-lighting' of actual technology investments will depend on the overall economic environment, which remains uncertain."
Gambill explained that the narrowing of this gap indicates that expected investment in IT may be slightly more aligned with the perceived value technology brings to an organisation.
"But looking deeper into the data, we see small businesses being much more cautious than medium and large corporations," he said.
"Because small businesses are often on the front lines of an economic downturn, this data is reflective of an uncertain economy. These trends bear paying attention to as the year unfolds."
The IT Monitor index is a bimonthly indicator of the direction, momentum and "mindset" of the IT marketplace in the US, based on an online survey of at least 1,000 IT decision makers from businesses of all sizes and all sectors of government.
Only 39 per cent of small businesses reported that IT is helping the bottom line, compared to almost 80 per cent of medium and large businesses.
But 29 per cent of small businesses expect to increase their IT budgets in the next six months, up only three percentage points from December.
Some 16 per cent of government organisations plan to hire additional IT staff in the next six months, a five percentage point drop from December 2007.
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