The growing crisis in Greece and Italy will mean major cost cuts across business in 2012. As a result, the role of IT is likely to change forever.
Enterprise IT spending in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) will grow by just 2.3%, according to Gartner, after a drop in spending of 1.4% in 2011.
Gartner predicts Western Europe will continue to slow Emea growth into 2015.
"The continued global economic uncertainty and the eurozone crisis will impact your IT budget in 2012, and your business will face difficult budgetary questions," said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice-president and global head of research at Gartner. "The second recession is about to hit and CIOs must decide which way to turn."
The decline in budgets will change the role of the CIO, according to Sondergaard. "By 2014, CIOs will have lost effective control of 25% of their organisation's IT spending, and by 2017, chief marketing officers may have a bigger IT budget than CIOs do. It is time for CIOs to take the lead and reimagine their role," he said.
Sondergaard said austerity measures brought in to deal with the sovereign debt crisis will curtail government spending on IT in particular and hinder economic growth, which will result in lower demand for IT products and services from businesses.
Gartner said IT leaders must stop being perfectionists and embrace calculated risks to surprise both their own business and their competitors. "This is not the time to retrench. Great IT leaders know how to manage risk," said Sondergaard.