Modest industry growth expected

The IT industry will be characterised by modest growth in the short-term, average wages and an absence of groundbreaking new...

The IT industry will be characterised by modest growth in the short-term, average wages and an absence of groundbreaking new technologies, according to a leading industry commentator.

Richard Holway, director of analyst firm Ovum Holway, also predicted that mobile technology would become increasingly important to business and that the rapid growth in business process outsourcing would continue.

"The absence of a ‘next-big-thing’ has removed much of the excitement from the market," said Holway, who was speaking yesterday at an industry briefing organised by professional services firm Ernst & Young, Barclays Bank and Ovum Holway.

"The IT market largely will continue to be more of the same," he said.

Holway added that mobile technology, which makes it easier for staff to access company information when out of the office, was the key emerging technology.

"The exciting bit of the future is enabling people to do their IT anyplace, anytime," he said. "Mobile media centres are going to be huge."

He predicted that the growth rate for most of the IT industry would remain in single figures.

"The days of being in IT, and therefore expecting above average growth, are gone forever. You really have got to be much smarter to succeed nowadays."

Rapid growth in the IT industry is most likely to come from economies that are expanding rapidly such as India and Brazil, he added.

Nick Powell, technology sector leader at Ernst & Young, said that recent wave of corporate mergers and acquisitions would trigger new IT investment.

"IT department budgets are typically flat but the economy is picking up and a number of companies are acquiring others," he said.

"These companies it will mean that you are going to spend on IT to fund your growth."

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