Xerox boss says credit crisis could crunch IT budgets

Yes, no, maybe. Can you repeat the question?

Xerox has become the latest established IT company to join a chorus of complaints about how the credit crisis has begun to rock spending in the tech sector.

In an interview with the Financial Times today Xerox boss Anne Mulcahy, who has been working on turning fortunes around at the firm since taking charge in 2001, echoed the sobering sentiments of her corporate peers.

She said: "The hurdle rate for making investments has gone up in general... I think what we see in the US is heightened anxiety. We see the financial services industry tightening their belts, and rightfully so, based on the impacts there."

However, Mulcahy stopped short of suggesting that Xerox, which last November said it would restore its quarterly dividend after a six-year absence, would itself feel the impact of a credit squeeze. Instead, she reckoned the firm looked set to swerve any economic downturn.

Cynics might argue that the Xerox chief's grumbles about the subprime credit crisis coincided nicely with today's relaunch of the photocopier giant's corporate logo and brand image.

Indeed Xerox has, over the past year, rejigged its business model as it goes after greater market share – especially in the burgeoning SMB space – by punting software "solutions" in the hope of convincing customers to think outside of the big, grey box.

But Steve Brazier, CEO of IT analyst firm Canalsys, reckoned Xerox's stance was in fact endemic of a mature market panicking about other parts of the world elbowing their way into the picture.

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