A Morgan Stanley Research survey of 150 executives released Thursday show they expect to spend 5 percent more on information technology this year, than last.

The CIO Survey, conducted in March, expects "total growth of 3.2 percent  in 2010,'' after a 1.8 percent decline in 2009. "The resulting 5.0 percentage points of average budget acceleration is another positive sign for 2010,'' the report from researchers Adam Hlt, Katy L. Huberty, Ehud Gelblum and Adam Frisch asserts.   The greatest growth in spending will be in hardware, up 4.1 percent, followed by software, up 3.7 percent, communications, up 3.0 percent, and services, up 1.7 precent.   The biggest increases are expected in infrastrucutre software, applications software and storage hardware, the researchers said.   The biggest dropoffs in potential spending are likely to be for desktop and laptop computers, as well as general software, consulting and outsourcing, the survey indicated.   Compliance, virtualization, database, customer management and enterprise planning will be "areas of strength" in software spending, the report states.   Desktop computer spending may be replaced by virtualization of desktop machines, in many cases. The survey indicated that 18 percent of CIOs are now in some stage of deploying virtual desktop projects, up from 12 percent in January.   Spending on expanding data centers is expected to be flat, and spending on external, dedicated co-location facilities is slowing.   Using "managed hosting" or "public cloud" services "remains a post-2010 priority," the researchers said.

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