New Study Shows Mainframe Acquisitions Steadily Declining

June, 2003

According to the latest study conducted by Computer Economics, mainframe acquisitions are on the decline in every industry sector. Our 2003 Information System Spending study, which benchmarks numerous IT spending and budget trends across every major industry sector, revealed that this trend will continue for the next several years.

As shown in Figure 1, only 7% of all companies in the annual study reported that they have definite mainframe acquisition plans for 2003. Another 5% are still undecided as yet. However, the overwhelming majority (88%) have no plans to add mainframe capacity this year.

issreasearchbyte - New Study Shows Mainframe Acquisitions Steadily Declining

In comparison, Computer Economics’ 2002 study indicated that 10% of all companies were planning mainframe acquisitions, with approximately 4% undecided. In 2001, the study revealed that 9% of all companies had firm mainframe acquisition plans, while 6% were still considering the possibility of adding new systems or increasing capacity.

The downward trend is clearly illustrated in Figure 2. During each of the past three years, the number of organizations planning and/or considering mainframe acquisitions has declined. In 2001 the combined number was 15%. In 2002 the combined number was 14%. This year the combined number has dropped to 12%.

2001 – 2003 Mainframe Acquisition Plans in All Industries

Mainframe Acquisition Plans





Will Add Mainframe Capacity




May Add Mainframe Capacity




Combined Total




Figure 2

Computer Economics projects that by 2006 approximately 5% of all organizations will be forecasting annual mainframe acquisitions; this includes new systems and/or increasing capacity on existing systems. However, this still represents a sizeable market for mainframe systems. It is likely that this trend will level out at that time, providing IBM and other big iron manufacturers with a smaller but solid market.

June 2003

The 2003 Information System Spending study is now available. This important tool has assisted hundreds of senior IT managers in making critical budget and technology forecasting decisions for almost 15 years. To order your copy, contact Computer Economics at 1-800-326-8100, ext. 123.