IDC Predictions for '007 -- 'Hyperdisruption'

IT players will accelerate their adoption of new business models and technologies—anything, it seems, to buck the slow-and-steady spending trend.

If business intelligence (BI) vendors take their cue from ISVs as a whole, 2007 could be a year of risk-taking and disruption.

That’s the conclusion of new research from market watcher International Data Corp. (IDC), which predicts turmoil and tumult—or "hyperdisruption"—among vendors in the face of modest information technology (IT) spending growth.

As a result, IDC predicts, IT vendors will cross traditional market boundaries and accelerate their adoption of new business models and technologies. Anything, it seems, to buck the slow-and-steady spending trend.

"While overall IT market growth will appear almost boringly moderate, its impact will be the opposite," said IDC senior vice-president of research Frank Gens, in a statement. "As IT market leaders step up their relentless hunt for growth, we'll see many disruptive shifts, with the importance of small business becoming very big, secondary economies becoming primary, software offerings becoming services, services offerings becoming software, channel-oriented players going more direct, direct players developing radically new channel strategies, and less distinction between business and consumer players and technologies."

In this scheme, IDC predicts, globalization will prove to be an even more disruptive force: 2006's hottest emerging markets—including Brazil, Russia, India, and China—will continue to set the pace for growth on a worldwide basis, but a new group of upstarts will emerge as next-gen hotspots of a sort.

Technology vendors will step up their efforts to court small- and medium-sized business customers, too. In this respect, IDC says, vendors which demonstrate an ability to "scale down" their offerings will benefit the most. Meanwhile, many on-premises software vendors will pursue Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) strategies, shifting these initiatives into high gear, according to IDC. Further distorting the picture are online and offshore services players, who will target SMB customers with new offerings or services.

Elsewhere, IDC predicts heightened competition in the information access and management space. Customers are increasingly specifying "rapid access to relevant information" as their top business requirement for IT. In order to meet this demand—or to better position themselves to benefit from it—major players will increasingly vie for what IDC calls "information platform" leadership. Meanwhile, the market watcher says, Web 2.0 tools will constitute a disruptive force, as well, tempting customers with "good enough" information access.

"These disruptions will force many market leaders out of their comfort zones, and open up new opportunities to those that choose to surf with the disruptive tide, rather than stand against it," Gens concluded.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.

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