After being hammered in 2009, the technology sector is expected to see a recovery in 2010 predicts Forrester Research, as businesses and governments in the U.S. and around the world begin spending again.

After declining 8.2% in 2009, Forrester predicts IT spending in the U.S. will grow a healthy 6.6% in 2010 to $568 billion. Global IT spending, which fell 8.9% in 2009, is expected to rise even further, by 8.1% in 2010 to more than $1.6 billion.

“The technology downturn of 2008 and 2009 is unofficially over,” Andrew Bartels, a Forrester vice president and principal analyst, said in releasing the forecast. “All the pieces are in place for a 2010 tech spending rebound.”

In terms of sector growth, Forrester predicts hardware and software will lead the charge, with global purchases of computer equipment rising 8.2%, communications equipment increasing 8.2%, and software spending rising 9.7%. Purchases of IT consulting and system integration services will grow 6.8% and IT outsourcing services will be 7.1% higher.

On a regional basis, Western Europe is expected to be the strongest performing region, with technology purchases rising 11.2%, followed by Canada at 9.9%, Asia Pacific at 7.8%, and Latin America at 7.7%. As earlier mentioned, the U.S. market is expected to grow 6.6% in 2010.

The weakest performing regions are expected to be Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, rising by about 2.4%

Forrester was even more optimistic about the longer-term prospects for the technology industry. “We are entering a new six-to-seven year cycle of IT growth and innovation that Forrester calls Smart Computing,” said Bartels. “New technologies of awareness married to advanced business intelligence analytics make computing smart.”

Bartels said smart computing will be supported by new technology foundations such as cloud computing, service-oriented architecture and virtualization. “2010 marks the beginning of this next phase of technology advancement,” he said.





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