While companies are tightening their software budgets, consumers are also expected to delay buying the latest technology devices.
Businesses plan less software spending in the next 90 days, according to a survey last month by ChangeWave, a research company. The survey found that the nation's recession is affecting software purchases across all categories.
Forty percent of corporate purchasers said they will spend less on software, down 15 percentage points from a July survey. A slowdown in business and capital budgets was cited by 23 percent. Another 31 percent said their companies don't need any new software.
Across the Board
While spending on security software has historically avoided budget cuts, that category will also be affected, according to ChangeWave. Security spending will increase for 13 percent of the respondents, but 20 percent say their budgets for security will be affected by the declining economy.
Business intelligence software has historically shown negative growth in purchasing surveys, and the most recent results show it spiraling downward.
"With companies slashing their spending budgets in an attempt to salvage their 2008 bottom lines, software purchases have been landing in the expendable column," said Paul Carton, research director at ChangeWave's Alliance Research Network. "All of this points to a very soft future for corporate software spending for the next 90 days, and probably for much longer."
Consumer Tech Takes a Hit
"Moreover, our findings pointed to a big downturn in overall consumer spending -- with consumer electronics taking the biggest hit -- just as the crucial holiday season is getting under way," Carton said.
Those consumers who do plan to open their wallets will be sparing Apple because of its iPhone, but sales of its Macs will not be so lucky.
A recent cell-phone survey showed that for respondents planning to purchase a new smartphone in the next 90 days, 34 percent said it would be an Apple iPhone, according to ChangeWave. But the survey results show Mac sales will be Apple's most vulnerable product, and Carton said he thinks Apple will be caught in an accelerating economic downturn.
"In our September PC spending survey of 4,262 consumers, we found that Apple's real problem wasn't Mac sales during the previous 90 days -- those looked good," Carton said. "The problem was the outlook for Macs."