Innovation will be a top priority for Canadian organizations in 2006, according to IDC Canada’s Managing Director Vito Mabrucco.

“Buying more technology without having an innovative plan on how it will create business advantage is not the answer,” Mabrucco said during IDC’s recent annual Predictions web cast.

“In fact, that has been our problem of late, as customers have to buy more technology to keep their existing operations going, and therefore see it as a cost and not an advantage. Unless we [suppliers] help them find ways to advantage their business or their organization, we are just tools and utility. And that is where we are criticized for not being important.”

Among IDC Canada’s other predictions for 2006:

• The Canadian ICT industry will continue to grow in 2006 at a rate of 3-4%.

• Multi-core servers will encourage organizations to rethink their purchasing criteria, and question how they architect their IT data centres. As a result, technologies such as virtualization will gain momentum in 2006. Virtualization breaks the link between the hardware and the common requirement that applications run on dedicated servers. Consolidation benefits are often dramatic.

• In 2006 the market can expect new products and strategies that address the need for greater return on investment and resource utilization. These products will increase efficiency and automation, leading to lower management costs.

• Customer-relationship management and mobility will continue to gain traction in the small and medium business market.

• Wireless communications will become the largest telecom market segment, passing local land-line services for the first time.