Gartner Sees Possible Job Cuts, Freezes

Gartner Inc. began its Symposium/ITxpo 2008 conference in Orlando last week with a grim parade of recommendations related to the economic downturn. How grim? No. 1 on the consulting firm's list of what IT execs should prepare for were hiring freezes -- and possibly even layoffs.

"The next big thing in IT is not a technology -- it is cost reduction, risk management and compliance," said Peter Sondergaard, who heads Gartner's worldwide research operations.

Gartner, which said late last month that it didn't expect a recession in IT spending, has ratcheted down its growth forecast since then. It's now predicting overall spending growth of 3% year over year this quarter and 2.3% in 2009 -- and it isn't ruling out budget cuts as deep as 20% at some companies.

"This is no downturn; this is a crisis," analyst Whit Andrews said.

This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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