While most analysts have been bullish in predicting a healthy growth of the IT market next year, albeit slightly tempered by the recent financial tsunami, IDC is less optimistic. It believes that the Western European IT market, which grew at 4% during 2008, will slip to 1% next year, 3% less than it forecast pre-crisis. The US, similarly will see growth slip from 4% to 1%.
While Western Europe may prove bleak for hardware vendors, IDC reckons that growth in the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa will be a healthy 9%, down from a pre-crisis 14%.
One of the key areas affected by reduced IT budgets will be hardware. IDC expects "discretionary spending on IT hardware" to be delayed where possible. In other words, if isn’t broken, we’re not throwing it away. While there is merit to extending lifecycles of PCs and servers, companies must carefully evaluate the energy consumption of old equipment compared to energy-saving new kit. It might just prove a false economy in the long run.
Highlights next year include: IP phones and smartphones will continue double digit growth; open source sees a renewed interest as companies seek to reduce software license fees; outsourcing and Software as a Service will benefit from reduce capex budgets; and companies will be looking to green IT equipment (and virtualization) to deliver costs savings in corporate energy bills.
I've been writing about technology for nearly 20 years, including editing industry magazines Connect and Communications International. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Anthony Plewes. My focus in Futurity Media is in emerging technologies, social media and future gazing. As a graduate of philosophy & science, I have studied futurology & foresight to the post-grad level.