Half of IT companies with a household brand name will exist in their current form in 2004, claimed Michael Fleisher, Gartner's chairman and chief executive officer. Highlighting the proposed merger of Hewlett-Packard and Compaq as an example, Fleisher said it would be the first of many large acquisition agreements made in the next few years.
Gartner predicted that mature Web services technology will increase the efficiency of IT development projects by 30% by 2005. However, said Gartner, Web services technology is not yet, though the company encouraged businesses to endure the bugs and start working on projects using Web services standards and deployment models.
Some 80% of external storage will be networked by 2005, according to the research group. Gartner reported that most companies expect to double storage capacity every year, with businesses such as Internet data centres reporting doubled capacity every quarter.
Gartner research also showed half of corporate networks in 2004 will use three different kinds of wireless connections - low-speed wireless data only, voice with Web access and high-speed wireless LAN access. Mobile computing will increase the responsibilities for individual users to maintain their own data and computer security.
Gartner also claimed that mobile workers would spend at least 20 minutes per day synchronising personal digital assistants (PDAs), mobile phones and other digital devices by 2003. By 2004, 60% of mobile workers will have to carry devices that can provide instant voice response and hourly e-mail response.
IT services will account for 45% of end-user IT spending in 2004, according to Gartner. Hardware and software are becoming less important to end users than how the technology is employed to increase profits or find new business.