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IT spending to increase in Europe – Gartner

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The UK, Ireland and Italy could see better-than-expected growth in IT spending next year, according to Gartner.

Analysts claims corporate IT spending in Europe is expected to show stronger growth in 2003 following a contraction during 2001 and only a 1.7 per cent increase during 2002.

They predict that software and IT services will see most significant growth in 2003 and 2004, while hardware spending continues to remain flat.

Looking ahead to next year, Gartner reckons growth in IT spending will jump 5.4 per cent. In particular, it believes the UK, Ireland and Italy will prove to be "bright spots" where spending growth is expected to be the most significant.

Germany, on the other hand, is expected to experience a continued decrease in IT spending in 2003.

Said Peter Sondergaard, Head of European Research at Gartner: "The most important issue in 2003 is to change how budgets are spent.

"The reality is that businesses will still be operating with budgets at the same level as in 2000. While business priorities are still on cutting costs, IT departments must find a way to divert focus from pure cost-cutting to continued cost-optimisation, and to make investments that deliver business value from IT," he said.

Eight of ten CIOs expect IT budgets to stay the same or increase in 2003, with the rest expecting budgets to decrease. ®

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