UK IT industry growth will create 2,500 new businesses and 78,200 jobs over the next four years, figures from IDC claim.
The research was commissioned by Microsoft and was launched as the firm assembled UK partners at Wembley Stadium to equip them for the upturn.
IDC claims UK IT spending will reach £50.2bn this year and will increase 1.8 per cent annually until 2013. This is in contrast to total GDP, which is forecast to decline 0.1 per cent.
An extra 78,200 IT professionals by the end of 2013 would represent one per cent growth per year, while total UK employment is projected to fall 0.7 per cent during that period. IDC claims the new jobs created will be highly skilled and will be predominantly within the SME sector.
Clare Barclay, director of partner strategy and programmes at Microsoft UK, said: “There is a raft of new technologies and a huge opportunity for the channel.”
About 1,500 resellers registered for Microsoft Partner Network 2009 in what represented the vendor’s largest UK channel get-together for years. The event was held on Wednesday and Windows 7 and virtualisation were two focus areas. A seminar was also held on planning for political change in the public sector.
Barclay said: “We haven’t run an event of this scale for several years. We felt strongly that it was important to reach out to a broader range of partners to ensure they understood where to place their bets.”
Services specialist Eurodata last week held a seminar to bring end users up to speed on Windows 7.
Joint managing director Simon Aron said: “We have been in the wilderness with Vista and it is our role to show the benefits of Windows 7 and how it links into the rest of the technologies that Microsoft is launching.”
Barclay said: “It has been a gloomy 12 months but there is a rich opportunity ahead starting with Windows 7. Partners need the skills to be ahead of the curve so they can exploit this.”
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