IT spending set to increase among Interop attendees?

Despite economy, Interop planners prepare for an onslaught of eager IT attendees.

A majority of Interop Las Vegas attendees polled say IT bugets in 2009 will exceed those of 2008 as planners prepare to spotlight new technologies at the show.

Many enterprise IT managers heading to Interop in Las Vegas this week say they are seeing potential increases in their IT budgets, while show planners prepare to present a conference agenda full of information on how to cut costs and optimize existing resources.

While vendors prepare to showcase their latest wares, Interop attendees could be planning their next technology investment while taking in the show’s sessions and visiting exhibitor booths. According to the results of a pre-Interop survey, 42% of about 930 attendees polled via e-mail revealed that 42% are actually expecting to increase 2009 IT budgets over what they allocated in 2008. About 38% said their budgets will remain flat and 20% expect to see a smaller IT budget this year than last.

The survey, which was conducted by Decipher on behalf of Interop between April 15 and May 1, also found that 95% of those polled are active purchasers in their companies. About 88% have direct involvement with vendors, an increase over 68% in 2008. And the top reasons attendees said they travel to conferences such as Interop were: meeting a variety of vendors in one place (show planners estimate about 400 vendors will exhibit); seeing new products and staying up-to-date on technologies; and watching “technology in action” through in-person demonstrations, according to survey results.

Technology areas such as cloud computing, virtualization and green IT are also top of mind for attendees. While show planners incorporated a networking track to stay true to Interop’s roots, they also concentrated on educating attendees on new and emerging technologies. That might resonate with show goers as nearly 60% indicated they are currently using, planning to use or considering cloud computing. And 70% are interested in learning more about IT energy conservation.

“Attendees at this year’s Interop Las Vegas are anxious to learn about the incredible innovation in today’s business technology market and have the buying power to invest in these solutions,” said Lenny Heymann, general manager of Interop, said in a press release. “The survey is a testament to Interop’s commitment of connecting quality buyers with the leading providers of technology solutions, during an important time in the industry.”

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