For the fourth consecutive ChangeWave survey, corporate software buying continues to improve. Microsoft (MSFT) is the vendor showing the most momentum — driven in part by the October 22 release of their new Windows 7 operating system.
Moreover, the 90-day outlook in ChangeWave’s latest corporate software survey is the best we’ve seen in two years. Improved corporate spending is occurring across most major software categories — led by Data Storage, Customer Relationship Management, Virtualization and Business Intelligence software.
The survey of 1,746 respondents involved with software purchasing in their company was conducted October 8-21, 2009.
Corporate Software Spending Outlook
A total of 16% of respondents say their company will spend more on software over the next 90 days — which is 4-pts improved over the previous survey in July. Just 18% say they’ll spend less — also 4-pts better than previously.
In a key positive, corporate capital budgets are registering an improvement for the third consecutive time — although the current uptick is smaller than in the previous two surveys.
One-in-ten (10%) now say their company’s cap budget has increased over the past 90 days — 1-pt better than previously. While one-in-four (25%) say their company’s cap budget has adjusted lower over the past 90 days — that is still 5-pts better than in July and a dramatic improvement over last January’s lows.
Leading Software Categories Going Forward
A key focus of this ChangeWave survey is on corporate spending increases and decreases within specific software categories. In an encouraging trend, we’re seeing further improvements across most software categories — including these five which show a projected net increase in spending for the next 90 days:
- Data Storage (+8; up 3-pts)
- Virtualization (+8; up 3-pts)
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM; +3; up 3-pts)
- Business Intelligence/Reporting and Analytics (BI; +3; up 1-pt)
- Document & Enterprise Content Management (ECM; +1; up 4-pts)
Note that while spending on other software categories remains negative, we’re continuing to see improvements.
Software Companies With Momentum
At the software vendor level, Microsoft (+3-pts) continues to show signs of market strength going forward. The October 22 release of their new Windows 7 operating system is very likely driving much of this momentum.
Key Reasons Behind Planned Spending
We asked software buyers to tell us the key reasoning behind their software spending plans going forward, and the results provide additional encouragement that the corporate spending environment is stabilizing.
- One-in-five (20%) now cite existing software is getting outdated and must be replaced as a driving force in their firm’s software purchasing decisions — 2-pts higher than previously.
- Only 17% continue to cite a general slowdown in business conditions and capital budgets as the factor most driving their purchasing decisions — 4-pts better than in July.
- While 26% say their company currently doesn’t need to purchase any new software, that’s still 2-pts better than previously.
Jean Crumrine co-wrote this article.