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After a brutal 2008-09, things are finally looking up for the U.S. IT market, according to Forrester Research, which predicts sales will climb 6.6 percent to $568 billion in 2010. Globally, the company expects IT sales to jump 8.1 percent to more than $1.6 trillion.

The recovery will be lead by software and computer hardware, driven by what Forrester calls ‘Smart Computing’.

"New technologies of awareness married to advanced business intelligence analytics make computing smart," said Forrester’s Andrew Bartels, VP and principal analyst, in a statement.  "Smart Computing rests on new foundation technologies such as service-oriented architecture, server and storage virtualization, cloud computing, and unified communications. 2010 marks the beginning of this next phase of technology advancement."

He said all the pieces are in place for a 2010 tech spending rebound. "In the US, the tech recovery will be much stronger than the overall economic recovery, with technology spending growing at more than twice the rate of gross domestic product (GDP) this year.

"Final numbers aren’t in, but Forrester predicted US IT sales would shrink 3.1 percent in 2009, while Gartner put the global market decline at 3.8 percent for 2009. And IDC’s 2010 forecast, released in mid-December, is much more pessimistic than Forrester, putting worldwide IT spending growth at 3.2 percent. It said hardware, software and services spending will each grow in the 2-4 percent range, with hardware experiencing the most notable gains after a particularly difficult 2009.

Breaking down Forrester’s numbers, the company expects global purchases of computer equipment to grow 8.2 percent, communications equipment buying will rise by 7.6 percent, software spending will increase by 9.7 percent, purchases of IT consulting and systems integration services will grow by 6.8 percent, and IT outsourcing services will be 7.1 percent higher.

While the US will not see the biggest growth on a percentage basis, it will in dollars spent. Europe will see the biggest change, growing 11.2 percent, followed by Canada (9.9%), Asia-Pacific (7.8%) and Latin America (7.7%).

The 38-page report, ‘US And Global IT Market Outlook: Q4 2009’, includes a more detailed breakdown of IT spending by sector and region.