Disruptive offerings to mature in 2008, says IDC

7 Dec 2007

This year will see IT market leaders commit fully to what have hitherto been considered disruptive systems, bringing these new technologies and services into the mainstream, IDC has predicted.

Online delivery, community-based development, solution-oriented packaging and emerging markets will all start to bear fruit for IT investors, the company said.

The year will be marked by greatly increased investment in emerging markets, introduction of a raft of new online product and service offerings, the opening up of closed business models to communities and innovative approaches to simple, solutions-oriented packaging.

In fact, IDC expects there to be so much investment in these disruptive markets, business models and offerings that they will cease to be considered disruptions: they will become the new status quo for competing in the IT marketplace for the next decade.

‘Disruptions’ such as software as a service, Web 2.0 applications, open source development communities and the emergence of non-traditional competitors like Google, YouTube and Facebook started out on the margins but will be the cornerstones of what IDC has dubbed the ‘post-disruption marketplace’.

“Disruptive technologies have been a persistent theme in IDC’s predictions over the past several years,” said Frank Gens, senior vice-president of research at IDC. “These technologies have been creeping into everything from enterprise software and hardware to consumer gadgets and telecom services, forcing vendors to rethink their offerings.

“In 2008, the era of experimentation will end as industry leaders get serious about transforming their products and services to take advantage of – and meet the challenges posed by – these new technologies and business models. The status quo is about to change.”

IDC anticipates that worldwide IT spending will grow at a slower pace in 2008 as a result of economic uncertainties in the US. Predicted global IT market growth is 5.5-6pc, down from 6.9pc in 2007.

The analyst firms predicts vendors will increase their focus on Brazil, Russia, India, China and the next nine biggest emerging markets. The SME sector will also be targeted more.

Online delivery models and application appliances will become more prominent, IDC claimed, and a whole new swathe of web gadgets will follow in the footsteps of Apple’s iTouch and Amazon’s Kindle, occupying the zone between laptops and smart phones.

It is predicted mobile operators will begin to open up their networks to any device and application, and software will emerge that uses text analytics and sentiment extraction principles to order the reams of web data generated by social networking.

Consumer VoIP and green IT are other key trends to watch out for in 2008, and mergers and acquisitions will continue unabated in the IT sphere as companies compete for market share, IDC said.

By Niall Byrne