Study: Worldwide IT spending to grow in 2003

Worldwide IT spending will grow four per cent in 2003, rebounding from growth of just one per cent in 2002, according to research released Thursday by market analysis company Aberdeen Group.

This level of growth will continue through 2006, with little chance of a return to the double-figure percentage growth rates of the late 1990s, the company said in its report.

At the moment, there are no compelling reasons for user organizations to spend heavily on technology – whether on new technology or on upgrades to existing technology – to bring back those earlier high growth rates, Aberdeen said.

According to Aberdeen, strong market sectors in 2003 will include:

– Linux servers, which will see 40 per cent growth in sales as Linux continues to make inroads into the enterprise;

– outsourcing, which will account for a greater proportion of IT budgets as corporations focus on IT cost reduction;

– wireless data services, and particularly wireless LAN systems, will be a bright spot in a telecommunication market that will continue to grapple with issues of overcapacity and thin margins;

– enterprise business integration will continue to account for a large part of corporate IT budgets and show moderate sales growth in 2003;

– storage will become a more integral part of IT systems as users look to make data available as an “information utility.”

According to Aberdeen, the chief threat to IT in 2003 is fraud caused by identity theft, whereby a criminal co-opts a piece of another person’s identity, such as credit card or bank password details. Total economic losses to consumers, business, merchants, credit issuers and the financial industry will nearly triple to US$24 billion in 2003 from US$8.75 billion in 2002, Aberdeen said.