IDC FutureScan: Buyer Intent Is Positive, But Cautious

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., May 7, 2010 – The IDC FutureScan indicators for May both made gains over April’s mixed results. The combined indicator score nearly matches IDC’s latest Black Book forecast of 5.3% growth in U.S. IT spending over the next 12 months. But the FutureScan outlook continues to be held up largely by the macroeconomic indicators as sentiment among IT buyers remains weak.

“The IT buyers surveyed this month returned to being merely cautious, which represents an improvement over last month’s pessimistic outlook,” said John Gantz, IDC’s Chief Research Officer. “The CIO’s surveyed are once again more optimistic about IT spending growth than line of business executives. Presumably this reflects the ongoing need to refresh and invest in new infrastructure. But the restrained outlook among line of business executives speaks volumes about how businesses are approaching the recovery.”

The Buyer Intent metric for May is 1013, which is up from 994 in April and but still below the March score of 1026. Both the Line of Business executives and the CIOs surveyed by IDC raised their outlook for the year ahead. Buyer Intent reflects market demand for IT products and services over the next 12 months.

The Market Indicators number for May, which combines input from economic and IT industry revenue forecasts, was 1090, ahead of the 1081 in April and 1074 in March. The macroeconomic indicator remained slightly ahead of the revenue indicator, although the two are largely in congruence this month.

FutureScan is a set of market metrics that measure supply and demand in the IT industry based on leading indicators and customer surveys. Values reflect expectations of future growth, with an index value of 1000 indicating zero growth and each additional 10 points representing roughly 1% of expected growth or contraction.

FutureScan results for March and prior months can be viewed at

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