The finance sector which led the UK IT market and the wider economy into a downward spiral is showing some signs of life by leading a mini refresh in server sales.
Server shipments grew 1% year-on-year to 80,000 units during the fourth quarter, as revenues fell 7% to $547m.
An end of year budget flush and the January rise in VAT to 17.5% prompted some customers, particularly banks, to refresh aging server estates last quarter, said IDC director of European server research Nathaniel Martinez.
"Tech refreshes which were long overdue kicked off as there was less uncertainty in the economy," he said, "large enterprises definitely increased spending led by the banking sector."
SME and mid-market customers were hamstrung by continued credit availability issues but in an ironic twist, IDC has predicted that the public sector which held strong during the recession will delay spending until after the next Government is elected.
"Public sector customers are putting things on hold until the election, this is the general feedback from many vendors," said Martinez, adding that HP and Dell had noted the lack of activity in the UK segment.
The public sector in the UK represented 11.5% of server shipments in Q4 and 12.7% of the total market in 2009.