I read on a twitter post recently that according to some recent research by Gartner, server sales are down 24%. And today I saw an article based on some IDC research that in Australia they are down by 39%. In my humble opinion, this is good news for IT leaders in Asia Pacific.

So why is it good news that server sales are down? The way I see it, IT departments are still serving their clients, web sites are not crashing, applications are stable, and generally IT systems in the region are running pretty well. So it seems that IT departments are doing well without all the extra hardware expenses.

The economic downturn has been a good thing for IT leaders. They have been forced to look for new ways of doing things – they have challenged the accepted wisdom. And they have continued to deliver what the business requires and have not had to buy a new piece of equipment every time they want to implement a new capability within the business. IT departments are now being given the license they have been asking for to consolidate systems across business units, departments and/or applications. Virtualisation, SaaS, cloud computing, SOA and many other technologies or technology-assisted services have come to the fore to allow IT departments to continue to deliver on the their requirements.

And yes – I do realise that there has been a big decrease in project-based IT work – and that IT budgets are down in general across the AP region. These are the factors that have driven IT organisations to think differently about how they provision new services and deliver new capabilities for their company.

Why I am particularly excited about the server stats is that I honestly think what we are witnessing now is a wholesale shift in the way that companies think about developing new IT capabilities. After the downturn project work WILL pick up again, but I don't think we will see a return to the mentality of "we need new hardware for every project". The status quo has been upset, and companies won't go back to their old ways of doing things when things pick up again.

At least I hope so. For their benefit.

Your thoughts? Feel free to add a comment below, or e-mail me at: tsheedy@forrester.com