It's not over yet

"Goldman Sachs analysts Laura Conigliaro and Rick Sherlund said in a research report that, based on a survey of chief investment officers during the month of December, they expect a 1 percent decline in spending in 2003, compared with a previous outlook for growth of 2 percent to 3 percent."

Enterprise IT spending is only one cyclical element of the overall tech industry, but it’s an important one. Until last year, IT spending had never decreased on an annual basis. Indications were that things would start to turn around in 2003, but now that may not be the case.

What this likely means is that 2003 will be a continued gestation period for the technologies such as Web services and collaborative business software that are going to drive the next enterprise IT upswing. The more successful sectors will be those focused on end-users, such as B2C e-commerce, and next-generation infrastructure, such as unlicensed wireless.