Gartner predicts IT spending spree for 2006

The worldwide IT economy will rebound strongly by 2006, according to Gartner CEO Michael Fleischer who claimed that most enterprises will soon change their strategic focus from cutting costs and protecting profits to aggressively driving growth.

Speaking at the Gartner Symposium in Sydney on Tuesday, Fleischer said the Gartner forecast was based on a “confluence of major events and emergent new technologies”.

On the major events side, Gartner is heavily backing a continuing expansion of the US economy with a strong lift in gross domestic product to prise open the wallets of CEOs whose businesses will experience sustained growth over the next three years.

To back Gartner’s latest dalliance with macroeconomics, the symposium audience was shown a slide of chipper predictions from economists, which upon closer inspection was credited to the Central Intelligence Agency’s ‘Global Insight’ report.

Likening the ability of enterprises to change with the economic times to the various perils of steering a motorcycle at speed through turns, Fleischer said businesses that were unable to adapt to growth in time would end up eating gravel.

“What is true on a motorcycle is true in business. If you close you eyes for 10 seconds you are fine - if the road is straight. If there is a curve in the road you are dead,” Fleicher said.

As for the new technologies that will ride in on the crest of the new wave of growth, Fleischer nominated four key areas: secure wireless broadband; very low power consumption mobile devices [and screens], easy access to real-time infrastructure, and the widespread pervasion of service-oriented architectures.

Fleischer said that some of the most immediate manifestations of these technologies were now being experienced in the transport and logistics industries, which are rapidly deploying RFID systems to manage goods on a real-time basis.

“The ability to identify, track and log in real-time will make a huge difference to the transport industry,” Fleischer said.

To survive the new wave of growth, Fleischer urged IT managers and enterprises to upgrade their skill sets in line with the predicted trends, saying that those who invest now will be “very well rewarded”.

“By 2006 the next wave of technology will fuel in stunning ways. By 2006 the ramifications will be huge,” Fleischer said.

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