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Gartner Symposium: Suppliers to get upper hand in 2004

IT spending will rise marginally in 2004, but IT directors will have to work hard to increase their discretionary spending, according to analyst group Gartner.

In most technology sectors this increased spending is likely to give suppliers the upper hand in negotiations with users, the analyst group said.

Gartner used its symposium in Florence to unveil a survey of 800 users across Europe. It found that Windows and Linux were gaining greater acceptance in the enterprise and that users planned to replace older PCs in 2004.

Peter Sondergaard, head of European research at Gartner, said, "CIOs will need to cut at least 10% of older inefficient IT environments to create any discretionary spend in 2004."

This is likely to give suppliers the upper hand, said Gartner chief executive officer Michael Fleisher in his keynote presentation. "The current supply-side overcapacity in the marketplace will begin to wane throughout 2003, along with end-users' advantageous position. Consequently, pricing power will return to the vendors in the majority of technology sectors," Fleisher warned.

One delegate at the symposium, the head of supply management at one of the UK's largest banks said, "I'm interested to hear that there was oversupply in the market; I wish that I'd heard that a year ago. I'd have got some better deals. "


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