Forrester Guesses Again on IT Spending


"Businesses and other organizations in the U.S. will spend $573 billion on computer software, hardware and services next year, just 1.6% more than they spent in 2008, according to new data out Tuesday from Forrester Research Inc. In contrast, U.S. tech spending grew 4.1% in 2008 and 7% in 2007. Earlier this year, Forrester predicted U.S. tech spending would grow 6.1% in 2009."

That last line is the reason that I take the rest of the numbers with a grain of salt. Forrester is reacting, not predicting. That's no special knock on Forrester, it applies to a lot of prognosticators, but let's be serious -- the 1.6% growth rate is contingent upon so many things in a fluid and in some ways unprecedented environment as to be meaningless.

Just translate it as "much lower than a lot of people expected just a short time ago," and you'll probably be OK. Dignan's got a good take on what spending will look like, and why. Who knows, maybe our rich uncle will goose the numbers.

Don't let anyone tell you that nobody saw what was coming, either. Again, it's not a matter of predicting numbers within a few basis points, but of vision for the big picture, and again, it's not just Forrester. But there were serious voices who would have mocked that original 6.1% projection at the time.

Nothing would make me happier than to eat these words a year from now.


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