IT Spending Growth In All Segments

By Geoffrey James

Here are the latest trends from the computer industry analysts:

Overall Software Spending to Rise 8%
Forrester Research predicts that overall, worldwide software spending will grow by 8% over the year, with the bulk of the spending on infrastructure and security software and some growth in enterprise applications. Cost-saving investments such as Linux and offshore outsourcing are at the bottom of the list of spending priorities.

E-Commerce Spending to Rise 4.8%
Forrester Research estimates spending on e-commerce applications will continue to grow, with about 75% of companies maintaining or increasing their investments in e-commerce initiatives. Spending on sell-side (customer-facing) e-commerce initiatives is expected to grow by 4.8% and buy-side (supplier-facing) spending is expected to growing at 1.9%. Customer-facing initiatives will also see the largest growth, with 40% of companies increasing their spending, while 28% of companies will increase their spending in supplier-facing initiatives.

Hardware Spending to Rise 10%
Forrester Research predicts that computer hardware spending in 2004 will grow by 10% with networking and communications equipment growing at a lackluster 1%. Enterprises and SMBs have plans for upgrading and replacing PCs this year, with 38% of enterprise firms planning to replace more than 25% of their PCs.

PC Unit Sales to Rise 13.6%
Gartner predicts that replacement purchases will drive worldwide PC shipments to 186.4 million units in 2004, a 13.6% increase from 2003. Gartner expects almost 100 million PCs to be replaced in 2004 and nearly 120 million more to be replaced in 2005. The volume of replacements this year and next year will surpass the number of systems replaced in the runup in 1998 and 1999 in preparation for Y2K.

Alterative Platform Sales to Rise
The Meta Group predicts that by 2006 only 45% of corporate users will count a traditional desktop as their primary information device. Another 40% of users rely on a notebook or tablet PC as their primary device and the remaining 15% will use thin-client or other information appliances such as a custom device or handheld. Meta also predicts that blade computers, where the guts of the PC are stored centrally, will develop as a niche market.

Security Spending to Rise to 12% of IT Budgets
The Meta Group predicts that system security investments will peak at 8% to 12% of IT budgets in the United States by 2006, and in Europe and the Asia Pacific region by 2007. These budgets will stabilize at 5% to 8% percent in the United States by 2008 and in Europe and the Asia Pacific region by 2009.