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Channel partners selling the meat-and-potato solutions necessary to
keep IT operations  up and running will find that they have a
little more budget wiggle room in 2010, according to new findings
released by Computer Economics last week.

The analyst firm questioned 139 North American IT organizations
about their spending outlooks and attitudes for the coming year. The
consensus was that the channel is likely to see moderate gains as their
customers accelerate into recovery mode.

"Based on our 20 years of tracking IT budgets, all signs point to a
recovery year," Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics, said in a
statement. "IT executives are prepared to make mid-year adjustments, up
or down, based on the strength of the recovery, but right now it
appears we see a year of stabilization in IT spending and staffing."

The figures show that IT operations will likely bump up by about 2
percent in 2010, very comparable to the 2.5 percent gain in 2005 after
the last recession.  Just over half of organizations reported that
they plan on increasing their operational budget next year, while
around one third say spending will remain flat.

On the whole, IT buyers are far more optimistic about next year’s
prospects than they were about 2009 at the same time last year. During
last year’s survey, Computer Economics found that 35 percent of buyers
expected to reduce budgets and only 11 percent planned on any increases
in operational spend.

On the staffing front, 39 percent of organizations expect to add new
positions next year and just 7 percent have any plans to continue to
make staff cuts in 2010. On the whole, the report predicts staffing
levels to remain flat for the median of respondents.

Over the past three months, 52 percent of survey respondents have not
changed their IT operations spending, 19 percent have increased budgets
and an additional 29 percent have cut operations spending.