If you spot a chief information officer whistling to a tune such as the Black Eyed Peas' My Humps or Mariah Carey's We Belong Together while commenting on what a great job Gordon Brown is doing with the British economy and composing a congatulations email to Charles and Camilla, don't worry. They've simply reverted to 2005.

Gartner suggests that CIOs in 2010 will be spending a similar amount globally to five years previously as budgets stay flatter than reactions to a Rod Liddle jest. Still, for those of an optimistic mind, that at least represents some sort of recovery after seeing purses diminish by more than eight per cent in 2009 over 2008.

"2009 was the most challenging year for CIOs in the corporate and public sectors as they faced multiple budget cuts, delayed spending and increased demand for services with reduced resources," said Mark McDonald, a Gartner group vice president in a press release.

"This is set to change in 2010, as the economy transitions from recession to recovery and enterprises transition their strategies from cost-cutting efficiency to value-creating productivity."

In 2010, at least as regards IT spending, it seems that Thomas Friedman can say he was right all along: the world is flat.