Gartner Sees IT Spending Rebound

UPDATE: 'True recovery' will be accompanied by a massive skills shift in IT workforce.
Posted November 11, 2003

Roy Mark

The recovery in IT spending is underway, with a solid return to growth expected in 2004 and 2005, according to tech research firm Gartner .

But the data also show that, while "strong single-digit growth over 2003 levels" is expected, growth rates will vary widely by technology sector. Also pacing the recovery, Gartner added, will be a "tremendous skills shift within the IT workforce, impacting hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of workers."

"We are now seeing a true recovery in the making," said Al Lill, group vice president for Gartner. "There is a key combination of technology advances, architectural changes, market forces and best practices in place to lead a good recovery for IT in the near future and culminating in very strong growth in the longer term."

"Real productivity gains will be achieved through the replacement or greatly diminished role of entire industries," Lill said. "For example, the combination of secure broadband wireless, very low-power consumption mobile electronics and new display technologies will have stunning consequences for the publishing, media and advertising industries, to name a few."

But a "massive vendor consolidation cycle will accelerate through 2005," by which time more than 50 percent of current technology suppliers will be eliminated from the competitive landscape, according to the survey findings. An important ramification of this, according to the analysts, will be the ability of vendors to regain pricing power in several technology sectors.

According to Gartner, areas in which skills will be most highly-valued include broadband, wireless, Linux, content management, real-time analytics, data mining, security, middleware, certification skills, business intelligence and knowledge management.

The survey was based on independent research and strictly regulated company presentations from more than 70 major and emerging technology companies and is being presented during the three-day Technology Investor Summit taking place in New York. Leon Panetta, former White House Chief of Staff and current co-chair of the NYSE Corporate Accountability and Listing Standards Committee, is also delivering a keynote address.

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