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The Almighty Buck IT

Forrester Says Tech Downturn Is "Unofficially Over" 130

alphadogg writes "The US IT market will grow by 6.6% as high-tech spending rebounds in 2010, according to Forrester Research's latest estimates. The research firm based its projections on data reported for 2009, though its fourth quarter numbers are incomplete. Forrester says hints of a recovery surfaced in the third quarter, and now the company expects the global IT market to grow by 8.1% in 2010. Forrester's US and Global IT Market Outlook: Q4 2009 reads: 'The tech downturn of 2008 and 2009 is unofficially over, while the Q3 2009 data for the US and the global market showed continued declines in tech purchases (as we expected). We predict that the Q4 2009 data will show a small increase in buying activity, or at worst, just a small decline.'"
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Forrester Says Tech Downturn Is "Unofficially Over"

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  • Soup is good food (Score:4, Insightful)

    by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @12:13AM (#30746950) Homepage Journal

    Quoting Soup is good food by the dead kennedys;

    We're sorry
    You'll just have to leave
    Unemployment runs out after just six weeks
    How does it feel to be a budget cut?
    You're snipped
    You no longer exist

    Your number's been purged from our central computer
    So we can rig the facts
    And sweep you under the rug
    See our chart? Unemployment's going down
    If that ruins your life that's your problem


    I guess it's going up, depending on who's perspective you see it from.

  • Still unemployed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lpaul55 ( 137990 ) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @12:13AM (#30746952) Homepage Journal

    Does this mean I'll get a job this year?

    The tech jobs market in Boston does feel less dead now than it did for most of 2009. I entered the job market in April and it was six months before I had an interview. Now I've had three in three months. It's tricky to extrapolate from those data points to locate a job offer but it does give me hope.

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @01:05AM (#30747290)

      Man I'm lucky I took longer to graduate. Local large company did all of its hiring during end of Spring semester when most people graduate. I missed that. But I graduated in Fall and got picked up by another company 3 months later. Turns out the other company did lay-offs.. w00t.

      Then the market crashed.. good time to start my 401k. My 401k started about 2 months before the crash. Within 8 months and investing $1k into it, it's worth $6.5k. That's a good return me thinks.

      • by hemp ( 36945 )

        Then the market crashed.. good time to start my 401k. My 401k started about 2 months before the crash. Within 8 months and investing $1k into it, it's worth $6.5k. That's a good return me thinks.

        Bernie Madoff would be jealous of that return.

      • Within 8 months and investing $1k into it, it's worth $6.5k.

        I misread that as investing 1k a month and though "yes, probably slightly above market average"

      • Buying in a down market is a good thing, man. Check it again two to five years from now. Don't follow your gut and bolt when it's down.
        • by Bengie ( 1121981 )

          When I got hired on, I saw the "global" option for all the different portfolios. Figured with the USD dropping, be a good idea to set my money on more global. I'm in a VERY small city, like 8k people. A local bank manages the 401k for my company. The bank said they would be removing the option of several large companies from their portfolios. Few months later, most of the companies removed from the options crashed from the bubble. go go small bank!

  • It may be true (Score:4, Interesting)

    by parallel_prankster ( 1455313 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @12:15AM (#30746970)
    I graduated last November. I was looking for jobs since August. I did not get any calls at least until end of November. Since then I have had an interview every day and finally had the luxury to choose from multiple offers. I know a lot of companies are starting up new projects. A lot of the jobs in my area - Computer Architecture/Systems/Networks is being driven by Cloud Computing. Datacenter style jobs are big. Most positions require experience in Fiber Chanel SAN etc or hardware for large Datacenter switches.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @12:16AM (#30746972)

    What makes it official? Netcraft?

    • I'd assume some numbers that aren't actually still down. Forrester is using numbers extrapolated from a non-complete quarter (Q4 2009) to suggest a change in trends from Q3 2009 which would be good for the future. Things are looking up a little where I live, and I hope forrester is right... the fact is there's no data yet.
  • by SlappyBastard ( 961143 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @12:23AM (#30747012) Homepage
    Now if only people could eat inflection points.
    • by Baldrson ( 78598 ) *
      If you keep varying the averaging interval and keep deriving you'll eventually run into a positive number. Isn't that what economists are paid for?
    • Yay for the second derivative! Now if only people could eat inflection points.

      Point taken! It reminds me of this poster we had in our test lab where I first worked:

      (in big bold letters)
      We're making REAL PROGRESS!

      (in much smaller letters underneath)
      Things are getting worse at a slower rate.

  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @12:23AM (#30747018)
    Is this a real tech boost or just places finally needing upgrades? When Vista was found to be needless for both the consumer and business market, most consumers cut spending much in technology and businesses cut any jobs upgrading. When the recession hit, they still had little reason to upgrade. In previous years, major changes happened, compare the speed boost from a 1995 Pentium to a 1999 Pentium III. Now compare a Pentium Dual-Core to a Core 2 Duo, is there really that much of a difference in the 4 years between a 2006 Pentium Dual-Core and a Core 2 Duo? Yes, if you are a gamer it might make a lot of difference, but for most tasks, you wouldn't notice the extra speed, especially when comparing a Pentium to a Pentium III. So when the hardware is good enough, the upgraded software terrible, who wants to spend the money to upgrade? Now, new hardware advances combined with software people don't completely hate (Windows 7) is giving people reason to upgrade.
    • Hardware starts to die after a certain time (bathtub curve) and for laptops three years is pushing it pretty hard for hard drives and batteries. Batteries are fairly easy to replace, but a hard drive crash on a laptop will cost a company way more in lost work than the cost of a new laptop.

      That and at certain points, it's more cost effective to replace a computer with a faster computer - if a computer hardware upgrade means you can make 8 runs of a particular large batch process in the same time it used to

      • At an old job of mine 1998-2003 we had when I got there, a batch-job called Overnight.bat, while I was there we upgraded the servers, raid arrays, network from 10/100 to gigabit for data processing group, and spent some time figuring out which AMD/Intel chips and Intel/VIA chipsets were best for running our SAS jobs. By the time I left we could have called it Afternoon.bat

        The inflection point there is if an overnight job fails, it can take days/nights to find out what went wrong and fix it. When the whole j

      • if a computer hardware upgrade means you can make 8 runs of a particular large batch process in the same time it used to take to do 3, and you can sell the proceeds of those extra 5 runs for $200 apiece - that computer pays for itself in one day. Pretty simple math.

        How common is that scenario, especially on a laptop? Most computers in business spend more CPU cycles waiting for user input than they do processing.

        • More and more laptops are being used as mobile desktop replacements. All of my development is being run from a laptop running a full database (DB2), a development version of WebSphere Application Server, plus all the assorted productivity tools (Outlook, Word, FireFox, SoapUI, etc.)

          I would be willing to bet that I spend an hour a day (maybe more) waiting on incremental code compilation after I tweak some code in Eclipse - I'm doing it while I watch the effects in the debugger and on the application, and ea

          • You must be right. Based on a sample of one, you have a 100% hit rate. The fact that I've seen thousands of counter examples - like basically everyone I've worked with ever - is clearly a statistical blip.

            Perhaps next time you're waiting you can google for "anecdotal evidence".

    • by mdwh2 ( 535323 )

      There's more to tech than Intel x86 CPUs!

      Yes, my desktop computer is for more purposes good enough - in the 1990s it seemed like a continual struggle to upgrade, and still not be as good as I'd want. Now I upgrade the desktop when something breaks.

      But at the same time, in the last few years I've been buying a laptop, flat screen monitor, mp3 player, two phones. Other possible purchases include netbooks, media players, ebook readers. Add to that the continual income generated by broadband, mobile broadband a

  • Tech whining (Score:1, Insightful)

    Tech workers are comparable well payed and in a good position. Haiti had a sudden downturn--that's real problems. Perspective and all until we all hit Singularity.

    • Re:Tech whining (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @01:33AM (#30747458) Homepage

      Much easier said if you were employed mid-year 2008 and remained so throughout the 'downturn'.

      That 'downturn' hurt, bad. Being out of work for 6 months would have been nice, but there were weeks at a time when there were no tech related positions, and nobody was interested in hiring someone with "professional" work experience for even tasks such as menial labor or food service. Good luck finding work out of your general area, too: my observation has been that there are so many IT types out of work, most places aren't even bothering to interview non-locals. There are just too many qualified applicants to pick from locally.

      (I suspect concern that I would "up and leave" at the drop of a hat/promise of decent employment.) It's been 2 years, and at this point, I suspect there's not an end in sight due to the extended sabbatical.

      The most extravegant thing I've bought since around March 08 was the occasional six pack of beer - maybe every other month. So yeah, that's not a terribly "good position".

      • "That 'downturn' hurt, bad. Being out of work for 6 months would have been nice, but there were weeks at a time when there were no tech related positions, and nobody was interested in hiring someone with "professional" work experience for even tasks such as menial labor or food service."

        Uh, what?

  • Recovery? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "The most likely alternative to our forecast that the U.S. and global IT markets will recover in 2010 is a faltering tech market due to a double-dip recession that returns in 2010 after a brief two- to three-quarter economic recovery," the report reads. "Should this happen, U.S. tech purchases would decline by 3% to 4% in 2010, with a second-half decline offsetting a first-half tech revival."

    Maybe if the economy has a double dip recession the politicians will learn that their stimulus plans and the continued inflationary policy of the Fed are bad ideas. By then I think it will be too late, the dollar is on a fast pace to destruction. Perhaps that's Obama's job creation plan, debase the currency so much that it will be too expensive to outsource to Indian and Russian labor. Delaying a market correction will only make it worse, Government intervention cause and prolonged the Great Depression.

    • by Surt ( 22457 )

      Massive inflation is my big hope ... I'm buying a big fixed asset right now with a loan (a house), the most house I can afford with the depressed rates from the banking shenanigans and the reduced prices.
      So if inflation goes crazy, it's all good for me. Make my payments on the loan seem like nothing. Woohoo inflation!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ron Bennett ( 14590 )

        On the loan, yes. But you're overlooking what is, in many locales, the fastest growing homeowner expense, property taxes.

        So while your fixed rate mortgage payment on the asset will stay the same, don't expect the same for property taxes.

        There are many people paying over of 30%, in some instances upwards of 50%, in addition to the mortgage rate they were originally quoted.

        For example, an 6% fixed rate loan for a home at $200,000, assuming 10% down, would come out to around $1100 monthly payment. Sounds prett

        • by Surt ( 22457 )

          I'm fortunate to live in CA, where property taxes are fixed at the time of purchase, thank you prop 13, and of course was not stupid enough to buy into an HOA.

        • by mdwh2 ( 535323 )

          But even if you rent, you still indirectly pay those property taxes - what do you think the landlord does to the rent each year if his taxes have gone up? So yes, it's true to say that you're not immune to inflation, but property tax applies to both home owning and renting, and as long as he gets salary increases with inflation too, he'll still be better off.

          Admittedly I'm in the UK though, where evidently things are better - my property tax (council tax) is lower than your figures, and about 10% of my mort

        • In short, don't automatically assume real estate is the safe place to be in an inflationary environment, because it may not be unless one buys in an area with low property taxes and is relatively certain they won't increase much nor get hit with special assessments.

          Not to mention you also sacrifice flexibility. If the job market tanks bad in your location it is FAR more difficult to up-root yourself to another area where the suck isn't so bad. If you think it is tough finding a job in a dying community, try selling a house in one! The job market is always asymmetrical in it's ups and downs - some areas will fail first, and others will recover first.

      • Real estate doesn't do that well in times of "massive inflation". It isn't exportable and hence there's a limit on price that lots of other things don't have.

        A farmer can grow his corn and export it overseas where people can afford to pay a lot more (because in terms of their currency the price hasn't inflated). But a real estate owner can't export rental properties (in most markets anyway, in a tourist area you effectively can) and hence the rent he can get is limited by what people in the area can afford

    • their stimulus plans and the continued inflationary policy of the Fed are bad ideas

      They'd be bad ideas if there wasn't high unemployment and similar problems. Those are creating deflationary pressure. You combat that with inflationary policy, because 10% inflation is infinitely better for the economy that 1% deflation.

  • by anton_kg ( 1079811 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @12:47AM (#30747172)
    Some people predict a second lag down. I won't be surprised if the article has been published in highest point of this year. Looking at VIX (scare factor) it could be the case.
  • The new reality. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The Bastard ( 25271 )

    I think Forrester is being overly optimistic. CIOs may be ready and willing to spend, but it does not mean the business (read: owner, CEO/Board, CFO) are going to jump on the bandwagon. Each purchase/hire will need to undergo a serious cost-benefit evaluation, and the lowest possible dollar paid. This is a result not only of the recession of the past year-plus, but also the very real and serious concerns businesses have of what upcoming legislation (and associated regulatory environments) is going to cos

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rsborg ( 111459 )

      Each purchase/hire will need to undergo a serious cost-benefit evaluation, and the lowest possible dollar paid.

      Not to mention continued interest in offshoring almost all actual production capacity (ie, programming, industry, etc)... I'm still competing with folks overseas who cost much less.

      • Re:The new reality. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @01:51AM (#30747572)

        I was talking to a co-worker today.. he said one year of college (& dorm) was now 15k at the local universities in texas (19k in arkansas for out of state after grants).

        How can you justify paying $60-80k for a college degree that pays zippo and may not even get you a job.

        More if you put dorms on credit too.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Surt ( 22457 )

          That's precisely why more people are doing 2 years of community college + 2 (or even 1.5) years of university. Halve the cost of your education, and get the same degree. Unless you're weighing going to an ivy league where the connections you'll make in the freshman dorm may earn you a few million extra in lifetime earnings, there's just no reason to go to university for those first two years any more.

  • Then why are stock options being sold like crazy these days ?
  • ... and I didn't see anything in the article that led me to believe that this upturn wouldn't just be an increase in business for hardware and software vendors. Most people working in "IT" work for other types of businesses. That hardware manufacturers and software development companies are going to see improvement is great but that's only a small part of the business environment that involves "IT".

    I suspect that what Forrester is seeing is that a lot of companies may be, at long last, planning on opening

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