Gartner: Slump delays, but not axes PC buys

New study finds PC projects are likely to be delayed or scaled down in 2009 instead of being canceled, while more Asian firms will go ahead as planned.

Slightly over half of all PC purchases globally will not be carried out as planned in 2009, but the majority are expected to be delayed or scaled down rather than axed, a new global study released Monday has revealed.

Conducted by research analyst Gartner between February and March, the study covered 475 IT decision makers from Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Most of the respondents hailed from companies with 1,000 or more employees.

Respondents from Asia were more optimistic--85 percent from China and 64 percent from India were confident their projects would be deployed as planned this year. Globally, only 48 percent indicated so, while United States and French companies gave more conservative estimates of 29 percent, and 18 percent, respectively.

"Enterprise belt-tightening has had a tremendous impact on the client computing technology segment with 43 percent of respondents expecting a decrease in spending on client computing hardware in 2009 compared with 2008," said Andrew Johnson, managing vice president at Gartner, in a statement.

The survey also found that the insurance, media and consumer business services sectors are more likely to implement their original PC purchase plans; the discrete manufacturing sector displayed greater likelihood of project cancellations. Companies in telecommunications, wholesale, agriculture, mining and construction are on track to reduce spending on such projects, while postponements appear to be the choice of businesses in industries such as retail and utilities.

Over in the financial services, only one in 45 respondents said PC purchase plans were axed, said Gartner. The sector exhibited average inclination toward implementation, postponement or scale-downs.

Overall, more PC implementation will be postponed or reduced in 2009 than eliminated, noted Johnson.

IT spending, Gartner added, will decline 3.7 percent in 2009, with IT hardware bearing the brunt of the contraction. The analyst forecasts spending on PCs, servers, storage and printing systems to drop by 14.9 percent this year and grow only 0.8 percent in 2010. Overall IT spend will rebound to 2.4 percent next year.