More than 2,000 information technology professionals gather in Auckland on Monday to attend Microsoft's annual Tech Ed conference - the country's largest IT event.
This year's conference theme is innovation, looking at how the sector can best survive the downturn.
Microsoft New Zealand's chief executive Kevin Ackhurst says the recession has hurt the sector, but companies providing technologies such as virtualisation and teleconferencing continue to grow as businesses look to cut costs.
He says technology can save companies money in the way that they deliver services to their customers.
But Mr Ackhurst says it's been very difficult for some smaller IT organisations because there's been some rationalisation as the overall market has become smaller.