The effects of reduced Federal spending have flowed into the private sector, purchases of computer equipment have also slumped, as cautious CIOs dial back their spending on these easily deferred categories of the tech budget. Servers and PCs have been especially hard hit as alternatives like infrastructure-as-a-service (instead of buying servers) and tablets (as replacements for laptops) accentuated CIO caution. However, there is evidence that even corporate purchases of tablets have slowed in 2013 as the initial rush to put these new devices into the hands of employees has been way to a more measured adoption curve.
The good news is that business purchases of software will grow at a 6.2 percent clip in 2013, said Bartels. Licensed on-premise software has taken a hit, but mobile applications have gained momentum.