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Overall confidence in economic growth is beginning to translate into
anticipated spending in the IT marketplace, according to the latest CDW
IT Monitor. The report found IT decision-makers are confident in
continued investment in hardware and software with an upward trend
among medium and large businesses over the last six months.

The company’s research found 90 percent of IT decision-makers at
large-size businesses and 89 percent at medium-size businesses expect
to purchase new hardware in the next six months. This is up three and
nine percentage points among large and medium-size businesses
respectively from six months ago.

“The signs of spending optimism we saw in the fourth quarter of 2010
are continuing,” said Thomas E. Richards, president and chief operating
officer, CDW of “Business IT decision-makers appear to be more
confident about making investments in hardware, software and services.”

In addition to positive expectations for hardware and software
spending, more than half of IT decision-makers in medium and large
businesses expect to spend more on IT solutions in the next six months
(56 percent and 57 percent, respectively). While overall the majority
of those increasing spending on solutions in April expect it to be in
virtualization (62 percent) and security (58 percent), most at medium
and large businesses also predict they will spend more on cloud
computing in the very near term (57 percent and 52 percent).

“During the recession, IT departments were challenged to find ways
to reduce costs while maintaining productivity,” said Richards.
“Virtualization and cloud computing emerged as key tools to help keep
costs down and increase productivity. These tools combined with a more
mobile workforce make the need for system security paramount.”

The CDW IT Monitor, which has been tracking IT sentiment since 2007,
shows that three-quarters of those surveyed expect to replace or
install new hardware or software in the next six months. The report
noted that this is largely consistent with December’s record high
expectations of these measures, with hardware up four percentage points
in October and up five percentage points year over year.

The overall IT Growth Outlook (formerly the IT Growth Monitor
Index), which measures six-month expectations for budget and staffing
along with hardware and software procurement, is 67 for April 2011,
down one point from December due to a lowered government budget outlook
and less optimism for hardware and software purchasing by small
businesses.
 
The report also found sentiment among small businesses has leveled off
after growing in the last quarter of 2010. Small business lost three
points in the small business IT Growth Outlook from December (an index
score of 51 versus 54), but is still two points above April 2010 (an
index score of 49).