Prosperous outlook for 2006

IT managers have enjoyed a year of relative prosperity and are set to end the year on a high note with budgets likely to go up 3 percent globally in 2006.

And when it comes to technology, the buzzword for 2006 will be virtualization, according to Gartner senior vice president Peter Sondergaard.

"For three years we have seen positive growth in the IT industry globally; it grew 5.4 percent this year and will rise to 5.6 percent next year," he said.

"At the same time IT budgets grew 2.5 percent and will go to 3 per cent globally next year."

Sondergaard said the hot technology trends include virtualization, wireless and service oriented architecture (SOA).

Tim Cope, chief information officer at University of NSW, said cost is no longer the focus for IT; the discussion has shifted to creating value.

And while capital expenditure is increasing, Cope said there is no real willingness to increase operational budgets.

He said increased capital expenditure reflects an improved economic climate following the dotcom crash.

But when it came to operational budgets, he said there is still a lot of aggressive cost cutting across the industry generally.

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