Gartner has downgraded its enterprise IT spending forecast for 2010 as the fragile global economy hangs in the balance and urged the industry to put contingency plans in place to counter a slowdown next year as governments weigh in with cost-cutting measures.
The market watcher expects sales to surpass $2.4 trillion in 2010, representing growth of 2.9% compared to the 5.9% decline in spending last year.
"The enterprise IT market will certainly grow in 2010, but we now expect it will grow by only 2.9% globally, down from 4.1% we had forecast earlier this year," said Kenneth Brant, research director at Gartner.
The manufacturing and natural resources vertical is expected to remain the biggest spender on IT but the utilities and national and international government segment have received the highest growth rate predictions of 4.7% and 4% respectively.
Brant urged vendors and their partners to remain cautious about the recovering global economy and its potential impact on enterprise IT adoption as the industry enters 2011, as current growth projections of 3.5% were subject to change.
"The bottom line is that technology providers need to be prepared for the worst case, where commercial markets stagnate and governments transition to fiscal austerity programmes," he said.
The channel needed to continue to promote technologies and services that help customers to cut costs, Brant added.