Gartner Blog Network


Q1 2009 IT budget update – CIOs reduce budgets but there are signs of stabilization.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  June 8, 2009  |  5 Comments

In the first quarter of 2009, CIOs experienced significant IT budget revisions as executives gained a greater understanding and solidified plans for addressing the global financial crisis, according to a worldwide survey of 900 CIOs by Gartner Executive Programs (EXP).  

The results of this survey were compared with the results of the Gartner EXP 2009 CIO Survey, conducted from September to December 2008, which had more than 1,500 responses.  

This update survey was conducted from March 1 to April 30 2009 and sought to gauge the potential impact of macroeconomic concerns on IT budgets.  These CIOs encompass more than $77 billion in revised IT spending.

CIOs in the original survey reported a flat budget with a minor increase of 0.16 percent.  CIOs responding to the update survey in the first quarter now report a weighted average decline of 4.7 percent.  The figure below shows the change relative to changes in IT budgets since 2004.

 

  • Fifty-Four percent (54%) of CIOs reported making no change in their IT budgets from their original plans.  
  • 42% of CIOs changed their budget in the first quarter making a reduction in the first quarter, which averaged 7.2 percent. 
  • The remaining 4% increased their IT budgets in the first quarter. 

Based on these responses, IT budgets moved down 4.7% when compared to IT budgets at the end of 2008. The figure below shows the distribution of changes made in the first quarter and the distribution of those changes.

CIOs are responding to the budget changes in by changing the mix of external and internal spending.  CIOs reported concentrating on renegotiating vendor contracts, salary freezes and head count reductions, as well as reducing CAPEX on software and hardware.

CIOs reported shifting more work to in-house resources more than reducing IT project investments. Few, only 9% see increased use of outsourcing as a way to address the budget challenge.

First quarter 2009 IT budget reductions were reported across the board based on both size and geography of the organization.

  • CIOs in healthcare-related industries reported an average budget increase of 2.2 percent.
  • The largest decline was in professional services at -10 percent, 
  • followed by telecommunications and high tech at -10 percent, 
  • manufacturing at -8 percent, utilities at -4 percent and 
  • financial services at -4 percent.

CIOs recognize the potential for further cuts in 2009, but most see that as unlikely.

The percentage of CIOs with a contingency plan for the remainder of 2009 has more than doubled compared with 2008.

CIOs with additional contingency plans for 2009 are planning for the potential of renewed IT spending, as well as additional reductions.  While 44 percent of CIOs do not believe they will need to tap into their contingency plans, those that do believe they will do so during the next six months.

The survey found that CIOs expect the economy to recover between the first and third quarter of 2010.  CIOs plan to increase IT investment projects and workforce levels as their first investments in such a recovery.

Software, hardware and infrastructure investments are also high on the CIO’s agenda on the path to economic recovery.

Bottom line: Executives making plans in the fourth quarter of 2008 faced an uncertain future as the global financial crisis unfolded.  Based on CIO contingency plans, they are now better prepared for future economic challenges.  Most CIOs do not see immediately implementing those plans.  This supports a position that the first quarter budget adjustments reflect firm plans for the remainder of 2009.

Additional information available at www.gartner.com

What are you seeing?

Link to CNBC Interview on June 8th, 2009  http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1145267494&play=1

Category: 2010  budgets  cfo  cio  economy  strategy  

Tags: 2010-planning  budgets  business-leadership  it-leadership  

Mark P. McDonald
GVP EXP
8 years at Gartner
24 years IT industry

Mark McDonald, Ph.D., is a former group vice president and head of research in Gartner Executive Programs. He is the co-author of The Social Organization with Anthony Bradley. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Q1 2009 IT budget update – CIOs reduce budgets but there are signs of stabilization.


  1. […] econalypse has sent IT managers scrambling to redraft their already diminished 2009 budgets. About 42 percent of chief information officers have cut their budgets to grapple with the souring economy, according to a new survey by Gartner (IT). However, 54 percent […]

  2. […] econalypse has sent IT managers scrambling to redraft their already diminished 2009 budgets. About 42 percent of chief information officers have cut their budgets to grapple with the souring economy, according to a new survey by Gartner (IT). However, 54 percent […]

  3. […] About 42 percent of chief information officers have cut their budgets to grapple with the souring economy, according to a new survey by Gartner (IT). However, 54 percent have kept their budgets flat and an enviable four percent have actually raised them. Gartner reports that in March and April of this year, budgets declined by a weighted average of 4.7 percent. That’s quite a bit different from the firm’s earlier prediction of generally flat spending for the first quarter of 2009. As Gartner’s Mark McDonald told Forbes, “It’s almost as if Jan. 1 started on April 1. [CIOs] re-did their plans in the first quarter once they understood what the global financial crisis would mean to them.” […]

  4. […] The details of the Gartner study are referenced in this article Q1 2009 IT budget update – CIOs reduce budgets but there are signs of stabilization.. […]

  5. Hello Mike! Any chance on getting a hold of the pictures that are not appearing in your post here? I would appreciate it.

    Your friend in analytics,

    Brock



Comments are closed

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.