Large, Midsize Companies Expect IT Growth: CDW

In its latest IT Monitor survey, reseller CDW found increased optimism among large enterprises and midsize companies, which reported plans to increase their IT investments in products and people over the coming months. According to the survey, many of these companies and federal government agencies are seeing the IT industry hit the bottom and are preparing to spend money. However, smaller businesses and local governments are less optimistic in their anticipated IT spending, the survey found.

IT professionals at large and midsize enterprises are beginning to plan to make investments in technology and people, according to reseller CDW.

In its latest survey of IT decision makers, CDW found that these companies-as well as federal government agencies-are feeling that the industry is reaching the bottom, Mark Gambill, CDW chief marketing officer, said in an interview.

"This is not isolated," Gambill said. "People are feeling optimistic for the first time this year. ... There is a slight uptick in the need and willingness to make IT purchases."

However, that optimism isn't shared by smaller businesses and local and state governments, which don't anticipate investing a lot of money in IT in the near future, he said.

The results were from the latest CDW IT Monitor report in June, in which at least 1,000 IT decision makers were surveyed. The last report, issued in April, showed some signs of anticipated growth in IT spending. The latest report is confirming some of those trends, Gambill said.

Key findings included that 83 percent of midsize businesses-which CDW defines as having between 100 and 999 employees-expect to buy new software in the next six months. In addition, 28 percent of larger companies-this with 1,000 or more employees-expect to hire additional staff in that same time period. Fifty-two percent of federal IT decision makers anticipate budget increases in the next six months, which is an increase of 17 percent since the April report.

In addition, more than half of all companies surveyed expect improved business performance through the end of 2009.

Gambill said he is seeing interest in customers in both traditional technology-such as PCs, networking equipment, software and services-as well as newer models like virtualization and cloud computing. For example, large and midsize businesses have pushed their PC refresh cycles out as far as four years or more, and need to bring in more systems.

However, smaller businesses and local government seemingly aren't sharing in the optimism, despite signs earlier this year of anticipated spending, he said. Only 21 percent of small businesses and 17 percent of local government IT professionals expect IT budgets to increase in the next six months.

Smaller companies are more likely to hold back on spending as long as they can, Gambill said. In addition, local and state governments are still waiting on federal stimulus money. Only about 10 percent of the money from the program has been released by the federal government, he said.

However, the overall numbers from the report are encouraging, Gambill said.

"It is positive," he said. "[The results are] part sentiment and part reality, but that's what it always is. But we are seeing optimism."