Not unexpectedly, Gartner has trimmed its 2009 Global IT budget forecast from 5.8% growth to 2.3% growth.

For comparison, the IMF reported the following GDP Growth in their October 2008 report (see pg. 22 of 321):

2006: 5.1%
2007: 5.0%
2008 projection: 3.9%
2009 projection: 3.0%

Maybe it’s yesterday’s (Canadian) Thanksgiving Tofukery, but I’m quite unnerved by Gartner’s 2009 forecast. My experience has been that Gartner (and IDC) estimates IT spending at rates higher than GPD growth.  I tried to find proof of this press release. The best I could do was this Gartner release from Oct. 2007, claiming that 2007 IT spending would grow 8.0%.  At 8.0%, the IT market would have grown 50%+ faster than the 2007 GDP rate reported by the IMF.

Adding 0.7% to the Gartner 2009 growth forecast, to set IT market growth equal to GDP growth, adds $21 Billion (0.7% of $3 Trillion) back into the IT market.  I started to think about what could be driving this $21 Billion gap.

In round numbers, IT spending by the Banking, Insurance & Financial Markets sector is approximately 25%-35% of worldwide IT spending.  At 20% (to be safe), the financial sector represents $600 Billion (20% of $3 Trillion) in IT market spending.  Note that $21B is only 3.5% of what the financial industry spends on IT.  With the various mergers and bankruptcies impacting the financial sector, one could make the case that the $21B gap between Gartner’s IT market growth prediction and GDP growth is largely driven by fewer customers in the financial sector.

However, I would guess that more than 3.5% of financial sector spending on IT has vanished (especially as a result of mergers).  If this is true, other sectors are spending more on IT than in the past, or the 2.3% IT market growth estimate is too high.

What do you think?