January 10, 2012 – European economic worries and flood concerns in Thailand led Gartner to reduce its overall IT spending growth expectations for the coming year, though there are bright spots in enterprise software for data management and virtualization.

The firm cut its global spending growth outlook for IT in 2012, including telecom equipment and services, by 0.9 percent to 3.7 percent, according to a Web seminar Tuesday from Gartner analysts. The largest single factor for the reduced outlook is the uncertainty with the finances of the European Union, where IT spending may even decline in some areas, says Gartner economist George Shiffler. The computing hardware sector took the biggest single hit, with expected growth cut by 3.4 percent to 5.1 percent in 2012 due to damages to product sustained during floods in Thailand late last year. Water damage has destroyed or delayed orders for hard disk drives and other hardware from large vendors such as Western Digital, IBM and NetApp, and Gartner says it may take a year for that region and market to fully recover.

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