You won't catch many power users trading in their gaming notebook or desktop for a tablet PC. Tablets are fun, useful, and convenient, but in our minds, they're complementary products, not replacement PCs. But what about mainstream folk who are only interested in hopping online to browse the Web and sort through emails? It's conceivable that certain segments would choose a tablet over a notebook or desktop, and with consumers not spending as much on PCs as of late, is it fair to say that tablets are cannibalizing PC sales? Intel CEO Paul Otellini tackled that question head on.
Saying Google is okay might be the understatement of the year. Consider this: the sultan of search said in an SEC filing that it spent a whopping $1.6 billion acquiring 40 companies so far this year, and we still have one more quarter to go, eWeek reports.
"Acquisitions will also remain an important component of our strategy and use of capital, and we expect our current pace of acquisitions to continue," Google said.
That pace of 40 companies through three quarters works out to more than four acquisitions per month. And there isn't a single area of focus; Google has been snatching up a variety of companies, from security to mobile email, mobile ad firms, a widget maker, and even a virtual currency specialist, to name just a few.
Over the next five years, the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) will make available to businesses at least $12 billion in IT contracts, an effort the VA says is intended to modernize its operations.
That's actually a decrease from the $3.5 billion the VA currently spends in IT. A new program called Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology, or T4, is changing the way the VA acquires technology, moving away from blanket contracts that General Services Administration negotiates with tech vendors and now doing its own purchasing.
The VA has canceled several IT projects lately that have fallen short of exceptions, including a recent $500 million project intended to modernize financial management systems. At the same time, the agency is hiring IT workers, with 200 of the 1,200 IT jobs being advertised by the federal government belonging to VA-related positions.
Market research firm Gartner went and gave its first "Chief Forecaster," Richard Gordon, a bit of blog space and the first thing he sounded off about was the effect of the European sovereign debt crisis on IT spending.
"Our assessment is that, in addition to the short-term currency effect on our forecast, it is likely that IT spending in Western Europe will be adversely impacted in the medium-term to long-term because government action to reduce budget deficits and debt will mean public sector spending cuts and tax rises and a period of sluggish economic growth," Gordon wrote.
Gordon was quick to put all this into perspective, pointing out that Western Europe accounts for less than a quarter of all IT spending on the planet, and less than 20 percent in the public sector.
Read all of what he had to say -- and there's quite a bit -- right here.
Wall Street IT professionals are gearing up to increase spending on transformational initiatives in 2010 and 2011, with most of the additional budget in IT investments for analytics going towards risk, compliance, and trading, IBM said.
"Coming out of the largest financial crisis in modern day history, there has never been a more important time for firms to capitalize on technology investments to make sense of the data and gain a more sophisticated understanding of risks," said Shanker Ramamurthy, general manager, IBM Financial Services Sector. "The road to recovery is built on infusing intelligence across operations, streamlining costs and getting back to basics so that firms once again focus on innovation and growth.
The survey pinged nearly 250 business and IT Wall Street dudes, and almost half of them said they expect 20-30 percent of their technology budgets to go towards the above mentioned areas. And of all the regulatory activities, 55 percent identified systemic risk as the largest driver of IT investments.
There will be a return to growth in the IT industry this year, with worldwide IT spending expected to climb by 4.1 percent and jump past $2.4 trillion in 2010, says market research firm Gartner.
"2010 will see IT spending in all major industries returning to growth, although that growth will vary by individual sector," Gartner research director Kenneth Brant said in an announcement. "National and international government will show the strongest growth in 2010, as IT spending is forecast to grow 6.2 percent worldwide.”
At the same time, Gartner warned vendors that they should brace themselves in case technology spending growth slows down as part of a "double dip" recession. But for now, Gartner sees growth on the horizon, particularly in the banking and securities industry, and the retail sector, which should see a 4.6 percent increase to $397 billion and 4.7 percent increase to $149 billion, respectively.
Market research firm Gartner believes that IT spending will continue to trend upwards this year and is projected to reach $3.4 trillion worldwide. That would represent a 5.3 increase over 2009, though Gartner was quick to point out that a dollar today isn't worth what it was yesterday.
"Following strong fourth quarter sales, an unseasonably robust hardware supply chain in the first quarter of 2010, combined with continued improvement in the global economy, sets up 2010 for solid IT spending growth," said Richard Gordon, research vice president at Gartner. "However, it's important to note that nearly 4pp of this growth will be the result of a projected decline in the value of the dollar relative to last year. IT spending in exchange-rate-adjusted dollars will still grow 1.6% this year, after declining 1.4% in 2009."
Much of the growth will come from the infrastructure market, including software to build, run, and manage an enterprise. On the hardware side, Gartner predicts spending to reach $353 billion in 2010, a 5.7 increase from 2009.
"Computing hardware suffered the steepest spending decline of the four major IT spending category segments in 2009. However, it is now forecast to enjoy the joint strongest rebound in 2010," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner.
According to Cisco, IT departments are crying out for more collaboration tools, even though many employees feel constrained by corporate policies.
Be that as it may, a recent global study by Cisco suggests that 77 percent of IT decision makers plan to increase spending on collaboration tools this year. Left to their own devices, more than a quarter of those surveyed who work at organizations that prohibit the use of social media applications admitted altering the settings on their corporate gadgets in order to gain access, saying they "need the tools to get the job done."
Of those who said they expect spending to increase on collaboration tools, 56 percent said such spending would likely increase by at least 10 percent, and probably more. India and China seem to be the most progressive in adopting the technology, Cisco said, though the majority of IDTMs recognize the importance of collaboration tools, specifically the need for better video conferencing equipment, Web conferencing, and Internet Protocol telephony.
The global recession might be taking a bigger toll on small businesses than initially thought, suggests a new report by research firm IDC.
According to IDC's data, worldwide SMB spending on information technology will only go up by a lethargic 5.5 percent from now until 2014, far lower than what was previously forecast.
"The downturn had a devastating impact on SMBs worldwide," said Ray Boggs, vice president of small and medium business and home office research at IDC. "Moving forward, small businesses will not follow the past pattern and return to prerecession's spending levels more quickly than midsize firms. Instead, SMBs of all sizes will remain cautious with their IT spending over the next several years."
IDC says spending declines weren't focused on one particularly category, but affected various segments of hardware, software, and services. Going forward, IDC expects SMB spending on PCs and peripherals to grow the most, while systems and storage will see the least amount of growth.
Despite a lingering recession, Microsoft isn't holding back when it comes to spending. According to Kevin Turner, Microsoft's chief operating officer, the Redmond giant will spend around $9.5 billion on research and development this year, which is about $3 billion more than the next closest tech company.
"Especially in light of the tough difficult macroeconomic times that we're coming out of, we chose to really lean in and double down on our innovation," Turner said.
Much of that investment will go towards the cloud, an area Turner sees his company becoming a leader in as it tries to "change and reinvent" itself. Turner also added that Microsoft will still maintain a significant on-premise software business, even as companies such as Google look to cloud-only software solutions.