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A semblance of IT budgets past may soon return
to IT managers who have been very good at reining in their 2009 expenses.

That’s according to the most recent CDW IT Monitor that shows IT decision-maker
confidence has experienced its greatest increase in the last 18 months,
returning to the levels last seen before the start of the financial crisis in
August 2008.

And along with that confidence, nearly half of corporate IT decision makers surveyed
are saying they expect to see budget increases in the next six months—a 9
percent increase since October.

In addition, more than three-quarters, or 76 percent, of both corporate and
government IT decision makers surveyed say they expect to replace or install
new software in the next six months—the highest reading on record for the IT
Monitor. In addition, the overall IT Monitor rose four points, the largest gain
in the last 18 months.

It’s enough to make you want to break out the New Year’s champagne early.

"There are a number of dynamics in the marketplace that, when combined,
create a greater sense of optimism—especially during a time of the year when
people traditionally feel more hopeful," says Thomas Richards, president
and chief operating officer of CDW. "However, some uncertainty lingers as
potential federal legislation remains under debate. It will be interesting to
see how confidence levels behave as these developments continue to take
shape."

Improvements in IT hiring may not be far behind, either, according to the CDW
IT Monitor. Of those surveyed, 22 percent of corporate IT decision makers say
they plan to hire in the next six months, an increase of 10 percentage points
since October. Also, within the large business sector, 34 percent say they expect
staffing increases, up 18 percentage points since October.

The CDW IT Monitor is a survey conducted every two months of at least 1,000 IT
decision makers in corporations of all sizes and government.