Ageing IT kit could keep support technicians busy in 2010

Delays in hardware upgrades caused by budgetary constraints could expose enterprises to increased problems from computer failures, a senior analyst at Gartner has warned.

With spending on computing hardware such as servers, PCs, and printers predicted to be flat during 2010, organisations must assess the impact of increased equipment failure rates on business efficiency.

“Approximately 1m servers - 3 per cent of the global installed base - have had their replacement delayed by a year,” says Gartner global head of research Peter Sondergaard. “In 2010, it will be at least 2m. If replacement cycles do not change, almost 10 per cent of the server installed base will be beyond scheduled replacement be 2011, which will impact enterprise risk.”

Speaking at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Sondergaard added that cost-deferring chief financial officers (CFOs) “need to understand this dynamic”, and that it is the responsibility of the CIO to “convey the hazards of stalling upgrade programmes in a way CFOs understand”.

Sondergaard also declared that 2010 marks the year in which the IT function needs to learn to build compelling business cases aligned with business objectives, for every investment proposal. “IT leaders can no longer look at IT as a percentage of revenue,” he chided. “CIOs must benchmark IT according to business impact.”

The worldwide IT industry will return to growth in 2010, with spending forecast to total $3.3 trillion, according to Gartner figures - a 3.3 per cent increase from 2009, which saw a spending decline of 5.2 per cent, making it the sector’s worst year ever, the market-watcher says. Software spending is forecast to decline 2.1 percent in 2009, and the segment is projected to grow 4.8 per cent in 2010.

IT services spending, meanwhile, is expected to total $781bn in 2009, forecast to grow 4.5 per cent in 2010. A shift in the IT budget from capital expenditure to operational expenditure will be driven by uptake of Cloud Computing services.

More information:
www.gartner.com

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