CIOs are reporting no change in their budgets despite the recession, in response to a survey by the Gartner EXP group. Of the 900 CIOs surveyed, 54 per cent said there was no change in their budget, four per cent had seen an increase and less than half had seen a cut.

Gartner conducted its survey of 900 global CIOs between 1 March and 30 April 2009. The survey set out to measure the impact of the global downturn. Over half, 54 per cent said they had seen no change in their IT budget. Four per cent had seen a rise. Gartner found that the healthcare sector had seen a rise of 2.2 per cent, which may be due to the investments in healthcare technology being made by the Obama administration in the USA.

"CIOs reported that renegotiating vendor contracts and head count reductions were the primary focus areas for accommodating budget restrictions," said Mark McDonald, who heads the Gartner EXP service.

As a number of CIOs have told CIO UK, moves to in-house some services are popular with CIOs in the current economy, especially those worried about the quality of staff levels available. "CIOs report shifting more work to in-house resources and delaying capital expenditures more than reducing IT project investments," McDonald said. Gartner believe most CIOs see that there is the potential for further cuts in 2009, "But see that as unlikely". The number of CIOs that have a contingency plan for a worst case scenario has doubled, but 44 per cent said they doubt it will have to be used. The number of CIOs that do expect to switch to a contingency plan expect it will be within the next six months.

The economy is expected to recover in the between the first and third quarters of 2010 by most CIOs surveyed and many plan to increase their IT investment and staffing levels as soon as their budget levels increase.

Budgets have been cut since finalisation for 46 per cent of the CIOs responding to the Gartner survey. Gartner compared the survey to its last EXP survey, held between September and December 2008, and found that 90 per cent had made a budget cut in the first quarter.