Gartner Lowers Worldwide Software Spending Forecast

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Gartner has lowered its worldwide enterprise software spending forecast, citing "a combination of economic, technical and regional forces."

The analyst firm said Thursday that 2008 spending will total US$229.2 billion, instead of the $231.2 billion Gartner predicted in September.

Software spending will jump by 6.6 percent in 2009 to US$244.3 billion, down from Gartner's previous forecast of 9.5 percent growth and $253.1 billion.

Gartner said it revised the numbers due to economic recessions in a number of key countries, recent earnings warnings from software vendors, and exchange rates shifts that have devalued the euro and British pound against the dollar.

The slowdown in spending overall will be pervasive, cutting across all geographic regions and vendors, but some technologies will fare better than others, Gartner said.

For example, the dismal economy will cause companies to delay or even cancel SOA (service-oriented architecture) projects for now, and those plans will be slow to resurface.

But software aimed at optimizing how organizations are run, such as BPM (business process management) and MDM (master data management) will fare better, Gartner said.

Enterprises seeking to cut costs will also be drawn to open-source software, virtualization technologies and due to tightening business travel budgets, unified messaging and collaboration technologies.

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