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Measured in absolute dollar terms, the growth would be eight percent. "The US economic downturn does not seem to be leading to a recession in IT spending, " says Gartner analyst Jim Tully. "While there will be less growth in the years to come, fundamentals remain strong, with emerging regions, the replacement of obsolete systems, and some technical reversals fueling growth."

In addition, Tully notes that companies are increasingly turning away from assets (primarily in the form of hardware and software) and instead resorting to usage-based and service-based models. "This will affect industry in different ways, " says the vice president and distinguished analyst. "The expected shift to cloud computing, for example, will lead to dramatic growth in IT products in some areas and significant reductions in other areas." In general, assets would be used more efficiently, and Gartner expects this to have a neutral impact on market growth. Moreover, Tully continues, there is still room for growth in the growth.

Dataquest-Prognose für den weltweiten IT-Markt 2008
Dataquest forecast for the global IT market in 2008
Photo: Gartner

The biggest growth in IT investment in 2008 is expected by the augurs with more than ten percent in the software segment, followed by IT services with 9.4 percent. The service sector particularly benefits from the continued innovation of software engineering. New software solutions often required service work for implementation.

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Other statements by Gartner are:

  • After most companies renewed their software systems in the period from 1997 to 2001, they are now in the midst of a new upgrade cycle that will take until the end of this decade. The exchange of systems is not automatically equivalent to market growth, says the Gartner analyst Joanne Correia. SaaS / cloud computing, SOA / Web 2.0 and open source are bringing big changes to the market. Many of these factors impacted market growth in light of the shift of assets to usage-based services.

  • IT spending is more dominated by services than products. IT and telecommunications services accounted for 70 percent of total investment. The telecom sector in particular, with a volume of almost two trillion dollars for 2008, had a significant impact on the overall IT market. "Lecacy telecommunications services are having a dampening effect on sector growth and thus on the entire IT market, " says Gartner expert William Hahn. Because the telecommunications segment is so large, it will make up even for relatively small increases in years, still 44 percent of the entire IT market.

  • Despite the macroeconomic uncertainties, the outlook for growth in the IT services market has improved. Gartner analyst Kathryn Hale's primary motivation for this is twofold: "Businesses are investing in improving their internal processes to save costs, often withstanding their interest in innovation, and IT service providers can reduce risk through globalization decreasing demand through business in more markets. "

  • The growth in hardware is mainly due to the account of PCs, for which 60 percent of all hardware investments are spent. Growth is stronger than previously expected and a slowdown is not in sight. The prognosis for the US is easy, which for the rest of the world - particularly Asia-Pacific and Western Europe - even increased considerably. "Key factors include market growth outside the US and the impact of the weak dollar, " said Tully. "In addition to regional changes, there is also a clear move towards mobile PCs, whose higher prices drive revenue per device and the overall market."

More detailed information can be found in the Gartner report "Dataquest Insight: IT Markets Remain Resilient in 2008 and Will Grow Moderately in the Next Three to Five Years" (costs $ 1295).