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Report: Pockets opening for IT

Fortune 1000 CIOs say that information technology spending will increase moderately, according to a report by investment firm Credit Suisse First Boston.

The information technology spending climate is looking sunnier, according to a report published Monday by investment firm Credit Suisse First Boston.

The report involved a survey of chief information officers from Fortune 1000 firms as well as private companies and government organizations. "The survey depicts a favorable capital spending trend on technology infrastructure as we enter 2004," CSFB wrote.

CSFB found that 47 percent of chief information officers project at least a moderate spending increase in 2004, while 36 percent expect to hold capital spending flat. Only 17 percent of respondents believe that their capital budgets will be reduced in 2004, down from a third of participants during 2003, according to the report.

The study comes amid mixed signals about the direction of IT spending.

Overall information technology spending in the United States is stabilizing but not likely to grow much in the near future, according to a Merrill Lynch survey of chief information officers released last week. A study published last month by Goldman Sachs found that American businesses have continued to spend conservatively on tech during 2003, but that a modest recovery is likely in 2004.

The CSFB study found that "security" and "integration" dominated the list of IT priorities for the next 12 months. Packaged applications were the next priority. "Only 1.5 percent of participants suggested that a Microsoft Office upgrade is a priority for the next 12 months," the study said.

Survey respondents selected Dell, IBM and Cisco Systems as their top three candidates for increased spending in 2004, according to the investment firm.