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I’ve been poring over the latest studies of information technology spending from the big research firms and, while I hate to say it, the numbers are looking increasingly ugly. For weeks, analysts have been slashing their forecasts faster than Wal-Mart’s “smiley face” can slap lower prices on underwear and cheap TVs.

Take Gartner Group, for instance. Earlier this year, the Connecticut-based firm forecasted that 2009 IT spending would increase by 5.8 percent over 2008 levels. In October, the company lowered that figure to 2.3 percent. Last week, Gartner confessed that its 2009 forecast now hovers between 0 and 2.3 percent. It also said that if recession strikes the major economies hard, spending could go into reverse and shrink by up to 2.5 percent.

By contrast, International Data Corporation (IDC) is a little more optimistic, if a meager 2.6 percent growth rate could be called good news. The bad news is that IDC expects 2009 spending to grow by less than 1 percent in the developed parts of the world, with most of the forecasted increase coming from developing countries.

Then there’s ChangeWave Research, which completed a survey last week and reported “a historic collapse in U.S. corporate IT spending.” In its study, an unprecedented 45 percent of survey participants said that their company’s IT spending will decrease in the first quarter of 2009 versus the current quarter. That’s the highest percentage ChangeWave has seen since the last IT spending recession in 2001.

What About JD Edwards Spending?

While there is little doubt that overall IT spending is on the decline right now, this does not mean that everything is heading south. As someone who has conducted more than a dozen IT spending surveys, I know that even in the worst of times, some line items in corporate budgets hold their own.

That raises a question for me that only you, our readers, can answer. What is the state of JD Edwards software spending at your company? My suspicion is that there are factors influencing expenditures on EnterpriseOne and World that are unique to our community. These include growing confidence that the products are strategic to Oracle, high interest levels in the latest releases, and a growing awareness of JD Edwards products among companies in emerging economies.

The only way we can tell how JD Edwards spending is faring in this economy, however, is through a survey. Fortunately for us, we have just added a capability to this website to poll our readers. So to kick things off, here’s the question that I’d like each of you to answer. If you work for a consulting firm that helps other companies deploy or manage JD Edwards software, please take what you know about the spending of your clients and answer the question for them as a whole.

Rest assured that your answer to this question is completely anonymous, so your company’s privacy is ensured. We’ll compile the answers to this question and get back to you with the results in a few weeks. In the meantime, feel free to share your stories about the IT spending environment in the comments box below.