By Devidutta Tripathy
NEW DELHI, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Technology services provider Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) is seeing some delays in corporate decision making, but is confident of a strong deal pipeline and expects to be less affected by the global financial crisis than its competitors, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
"What we are seeing is on the discretionary spending level. Companies are slowing down decision process. We are not really seeing projects cancelled yet," Michael Laphen told a news conference in the Indian capital.
The global financial crisis and a slowdown in economic activity is hitting demand for technology products and services. Gartner, the world’s biggest technology researcher, has sharply cut its forecast for technology spending next year.
Laphen was, however, upbeat about order inflows.
Falls Church, Virginia-based Computer Sciences has been targeting mid-sized deals for growth, covering contracts between $50 million to $250 million, which analysts feel is the fastest-growing area of the technology services market.
"We have a balanced portfolio. Even if we have presence in the financial services sector, we are not present in the capital market in a big way," Laphen said.
"Some of our competitors are having much weight on the discretionary spend side," he said.
Laphen has said earlier he expected improvements in the company’s growth, profitability and cash flow due to an improving mix in its services.
The company is not up for sale and is looking for niche targets to boost growth, he said.
Hewlett-Packard Co’s (HPQ) deal earlier this year to buy rival Electronic Data Systems Corp had triggered speculation that Computer Sciences could be the next takeover target.
"Our goal is to remain an independent company. We are certainly trying to do that. We have a strategic plan to that end," Laphen said.
He said he expected the HP-EDS deal to be working in Computer Sciences’ advantage in the near term as his company remained product independent.
"EDS now with a product bias towards HP and with IBM (IBM) already are, we think we have a differentiated offering for the customers," he said. (Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)
© Thomson Reuters 2008 All rights reserved