IDC's 'Top 10' predictions for the global IT industry

13 February 2002 News

Global market intelligence and advisory firm, IDC, has released its top 10 predictions for the global IT market in 2002. The group predicts that the IT market rebound will begin by mid-2002, perhaps sooner.

"Prior to 11 September we were expecting the rebound to begin in 2001," says John Gantz, IDC's Chief Research Officer, "but terrorism's impact on the global economy took a commensurate toll on the IT market."

IDC forecasts that in 2002 IT spending will increase 4-6% in the United States, 6-7% in Western Europe and 10-12% in Asia/Pacific.

"The good news," says Gantz, "is that the economic assumptions behind our IT forecast are holding up. In fact they may be conservative. If that is the case, the IT recovery could come sooner and be stronger than we currently predicted."

The other predictions are:

* China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) will help ensure its 25% IT spending growth continues for years. By 2010 it will be the third largest IT market in the world.

* Businesses will feel a crunch in 2002 as users and workers with wireless and mobile Internet access create demand for enterprise support that is not yet in place.

* The 'Bin Laden Effect' as Gantz calls it, will drive enterprises to rethink their specs for business continuity - creating a need to reset IT security plans in 2002.

* With Microsoft pushing Passport to XP users and competitors reacting, digital identity services will become real (even if single-sign-on to the web remains a pipe dream).

* Streaming media will be hot as new standards come online and new services and market needs - some in reaction to 11 September - come into play.

* The concept of 'web services' will hit its hype peak in 2002 - long before any critical mass of products or services in the market is reached.

* Linux will have a 'breakout year'. Last year there were a number of ways the market could have gone. Now it seems clear that Linux has become a viable alternative for enterprise use.

* Although the market for server blades will not be a big money maker in 2002, the new architecture will disrupt the entry server and appliance server markets - yet another disturbance in a server market already undergoing multiple transitions.

* 75 million WinXP licences will ship in 2002, but XP will not have the clout that Win95 did in driving hardware sales or generating first-time users.

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