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IT Confidence Drops To Lowest Level In 2008

More staffing and budget cuts are anticipated in 2009, according to the latest CDW IT Monitor
VERNON HILLS, Ill. " Dec. 22, 2008 " A significant decline in growth expectations among IT decision makers at large businesses is a major factor behind a drop in IT marketplace confidence to its lowest level in 2008. According to the latest CDW IT Monitor, a bimonthly indicator of the direction and momentum of the IT marketplace, large business IT decision makers registered the greatest decline in confidence among all corporate and government sectors in November, with a five-point drop to 74 from October. The overall IT Monitor score fell two points to 70, the lowest score in 2008.

However, despite this downturn, the need for IT remains strong, with a majority of large and mid-size businesses expecting to purchase new hardware (84 percent and 77 percent, respectively) and software (87 percent and 78 percent, respectively) over the next six months.

"Despite market changes, many organizations continue to recognize the value of IT as a strategic investment," said CDW Vice President Mark Gambill, the company's executive responsible for market insights. "Companies that use IT as a mechanism to achieve greater productivity and efficiencies in this tough time will have a better chance of coming out of this economic downturn with greater momentum."

Still, decision makers are being forced to manage costs even more effectively. One in five (19 percent) of corporate IT decision makers anticipate budget cuts in the first half of 2009—an increase of eight percentage points since October. The overall IT Growth Monitor, which measures expected future IT investment, fell four points from October to 64, its sharpest decline in 2008. The large business IT Growth Monitor score fell, registering a seven-point decrease from October to 73.

The government sector also anticipates declines in growth with three in 10 government IT decision makers (30 percent) anticipating a budget decrease in the next six months. This includes 38 percent of state IT decision makers, an increase of eight percentage points from October, and 19 percent of federal IT decision makers, an increase of seven percentage points.

Other key findings:

Expect to reduce IT staff in next six months (percent answering yes) Oct. 08 Dec. 08 Small Business Sector (1-99 Employees) 3% 5% Medium Business Sector (100-999 Employees) 4% 10% Large Business Sector (1000+ Employees) 7% 16%

About the CDW IT Monitor The CDW IT Monitor was created by CDW Corporation, and research and analysis is conducted by independent polling firm Richard Day Research of Evanston, Ill. Decision makers are invited from two large national panels of IT decision makers built and maintained by E-Rewards and Survey Sampling International. Data reported in this release is based on a survey of 1,059 IT decision makers conducted between November 10 and November 17, 2008.

At the center of the CDW IT Monitor is an index number, which registered an initial benchmark reading of 69 in December 2007. Results are calculated on a scale of 0-100, with 100 indicating the highest level of confidence. Future readings of the CDW IT Monitor will continue to yield comparisons to previous scores, allowing for an interpretation of the direction of sentiment in the IT marketplace. The next CDW IT Monitor will be released in February 2009.

Data are weighted to ensure that CDW IT Monitor calculations closely represent the overall population of corporate and government employers in terms of size, based on the number of employees. Corporate data are weighted according to U.S. Economic Census data, and government data are weighted according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau's annual survey of government employment. The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/-4 percentage points for the business sector, and +/-6 percentage points for government.

About CDW CDW is a leading provider of technology solutions for business, government and education. Ranked No. 34 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies, CDW features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company's technology specialists offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers can assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of focus include notebooks, desktops, printers, servers and storage, unified communications, security, wireless, power and cooling, networking, software licensing and mobility solutions.

CDW was founded in 1984 and as of September 30, 2008 employed approximately 6,900 coworkers. In 2007, the company generated sales of $8.1 billion. For more information, visit CDW.com.