Gartner cuts forecast for growth in IT spending

Gartner recommends companies target high-growth sectors such as communications and healthcare through 2014 but exercise caution with regard to the economy. Brant said businesses should plan for 3.5 percent growth in 2011 but be prepared for that growth to evaporate if the economy stagnates, forcing companies and institutions to tighten their belts.

"The bottom line is that technology providers need to be prepared for the worst case, where commercial IT markets stagnate and governments transition to fiscal austerity programs," Brant said. He also urged technology providers to promote IT solutions that help reduce costs, for which he said there will be persistent demand.