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Strongest Business Software Spending Environment in Three Years


Software spending is showing more strength than in any previous ChangeWave business software survey of the past 34 months. Moreover, this is the sixth consecutive survey in which spending has registered an improvement.

Importantly, the software pick-up is occurring across a broad range of categories.

The ChangeWave survey of 1,619 respondents involved with software purchasing in their company was conducted April 12-25.

Corporate Software Spending Outlook

One-in-five (20%) respondents say their company will spend more on software over the next 90 days, a 2-pt improvement from the previous survey in January. Only 13% now say they’ll spend less – also 2-pts better than previously.

In a further bullish sign, the spending increase is occurring across companies of all sizes – although the percentage of respondents projecting more spending over the next 90 days is highest among larger-sized firms and lowest among companies with 10 employees or less.

The following chart shows the corporate software spending outlook broken down by company size:

The survey also points to a modest improvement in corporate capital budgets. While just 13% say their company’s capital budget increased over the past 90 days, the percentage saying their cap budget adjusted lower (16%) is 5-pts better than in January.

All told, this represents a dramatic 38-pt improvement since the horrendous low registered 15 months previously in January 2009.

Leading Software Categories Going Forward

A key focus of this ChangeWave survey is on corporate spending increases and decreases within specific software categories.

In a further encouraging sign, we’re seeing a projected net increase in spending for the next 90 days across most software categories, with the following categories registering the biggest improvements since January:

Key Reasons Behind Planned Spending

When we asked software buyers to tell us the key reasoning behind their company’s software spending plans going forward, we find additional positive signs of a business recovery :

  • Only 11% cite a general slowdown in business conditions and capital budgets as the factor most driving their company’s software purchasing decisions – 4-pts better than in January and an 11-pt improvement from a year ago.
  • Better than one-in-four (26%) say the driving force behind their purchasing decisions is their company’s existing software is getting outdated and must be replaced – a 5-pt leap since January and the highest percentage of the past two years.


Software Companies With Momentum

At the vendor level, Oracle (ORCL; +2-pts), Red Hat (RHT; +2-pts) and Check Point Software (CHKP; +2-pts) each show signs of increased strength going forward.

Two other companies are showing signs of a slight uptick: EMC (EMC; +1-pt) and (CRM; +1-pt).

Similar to the findings of our March IT Spending Survey, the spending momentum for Microsoft (+16; down 2-pts) has slowed somewhat. Nonetheless they are still the top vendor in terms of software spending increases for the next 90 days, and they remain far ahead of their pre- Windows 7 spending levels.

Interestingly, when we compare the current security market share results with our findings from 15 months ago (Jan 2009) we see that Microsoft’s share is up 3-pts while Symantec/ Norton (down 1-pt) and McAfee (down 2-pts) have each experienced a small decline – most probably the result of the Windows 7 rollout.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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