Rowsell-Jones, releasing Gartner's annual CIO survey at an event in Sydney, told his audience that CIO's were "too concerned about availability and security" to consider hosted enterprise software.
"Large organisations have spent years building legacy systems. Software as a Service won't happen in 2009, not for mainstream businesses."
"There might be great products available [via a hosted model], but large firms are looking at a complex environment," he said.
"They can't afford to take risks with things like customer records."
"It is something to monitor, to keep your eye on, but it won't happen this year."
Rowsell-Jones also doubts that open source software will be an option for budget-starved CIOs in 2009.
His comments are in stark contrast to other analyst reports suggesting an economic downturn is a prime opportunity to consider newer, cheaper software licensing models.
Ross Dawson, chairman of Advanced Human Technologies, has just finished writing a book on Enterprise 2.0 and cites numerous examples of large organisations deriving value from the SaaS model.
"Larger companies with complex established systems are a little more tentative [than SMEs], but are gradually shifting chunks of their technology to online services, ranging from CRM systems through to specialty back-end web services," he said.
But rather than risk new alternatives, Rowsell-Jones recommends CIO's review existing commercial software licensing arrangements.
"It's the obvious question," he told iTNews. "It's the large elephant in the room. If you don't ask the question, you'll never adequately be able to conclude whether a change is worth the risk."