IDC sees healthy IT growth through 2009

Worldwide IT spending will grow at a healthy 6 percent between now and 2009, IDC said Tuesday

The days of double-digit growth may be over, but an uptick in spending by the media, communications and health-care industries will help to keep worldwide IT spending growing at a healthy clip through 2009, according to IDC.

Worldwide IT spending would grow at a compound annual rate of 5.9 per cent through the end of 2009 to reach $US1.34 trillion, up from $US1.06 trillion this year, program manager for IDC's Worldwide Vertical Markets research service, Anne Songtao Lu, said.

"From an IT industry perspective it's quite good," she said. "There's no longer the double-digit growth they saw before 2000, but this growth rate, for a lot of quite mature technologies, is very healthy."

The government, manufacturing and banking sectors woulf continue to account for the lion's share of IT spending worldwide, she said.

Government initiatives to put more services online for citizens, and efforts such as the UK's costly national identity card initiative, will help to keep that sector buoyant.

But the fastest growth would come from industries that until recently had been IT laggards, Lu said, They included the health care, media and communications industries.

Efforts by cable companies to provide more Internet and communications services should ensure increased spending in that sector.

Meanwhile, Internet service providers were partnering with content providers to offer programming over their networks, she said.

"When you look at the media and telecommunications industries right now, the boundaries have become very blurred," Lu said.

As the industries vie to outdo each other and pursue the hallowed triple-play of voice, video and Internet services, IT vendors stand to benefit. Investments by telcos in third-generation (3G) wireless services would also boost spending, she said.

Purchases of network equipment, storage gear, PCs and peripherals would drive growth in the media and communications sectors, Lu said. They would account for $US128 billion in IT spending in 2009, up from $US95 billion today, IDC predicted.

Consumers are also pulling the industry along.

Five years ago they accounted for only about 5 per cent of total IT spending, but this year they will account for almost 10 per cent, thanks to the rise of consumer goods such as home networks and sophisticated printers for printing photographs at home, according to IDC.

"Another big portion of consumer spending is services, there's very strong growth in that area," Lu said. "Now when you buy those IT products you often get a package with some services included."

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James Niccolai

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