HP's Fiorina paints grim picture for 2003

Hewlett-Packard Co. is bracing for another rough year in 2003 when it comes to IT spending.

Carly Fiorina, chairman and chief executive officer at HP, said the company expects single digit growth in IT spending next year, during a Web cast of the company's Tuesday analyst conference. In the longer term Fiorina told analysts to expect growth rates of less than 10 percent for the industry.

"I am talking about the economy because clearly the economy is a huge pressure on the IT industry," she said. "It is clear that economics are driving the slowdown in IT spending."

The HP chief levelled criticism against other CEOs for overspending on technology in the last decade. The executives were caught up in trying to find the fastest servers and best software.

"Most CEOs know they overspent on technology in the 1990s," Fiorina said. "They spent on hot boxes and killer apps."

Due to this excess spending, top executives are placing a larger emphasis now on making longer-term investments and picking vendors that can provide a product roadmap that extends out for several years, Fiorina said. With this in mind, HP claims its ability to provide everything from handheld computers to large servers shows its broad technology portfolio and commitment to providing customers with everything they need. This strategy has helped the company gain ground on competitors since its completed its acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. in May, she said.

Fiorina claimed that HP is winning deals with major customers against Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM Corp.

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