The channel must keep focusing on the business outcome of IT to rebuild customers' confidence in IT investment, Gartner has told CRN.
Roger Fulton, vice-president of research at Gartner, said that according to the analyst's latest figures, IT spend is still low. "Last year started to look better because when we spoke to chief executives, most were talking about growth strategies instead of cost-cutting. However, as we've gone into 2005, confidence has decayed," he said.
Fulton added that key growth areas include security, business intelligence and content management. "The pace of change is as aggressive as ever. The innovation in IT is huge. Resellers still need to watch out for shifting buying patterns. Lowering the risk of investing in IT is the key to rebuilding confidence," he said.
Nick King, chief executive of VAR Apex, said: "There is a slowdown in activity in the market. We're all seeing a slowdown in the reseller model. To generate new spend, innovation has to be the key theme, providing new solutions and reducing costs of technology. I agree with Gartner that the focus has to be less technology-oriented and more business-focused."
Gartner's research revealed that global spending on IT will reach $2.6trillion in 2005. In western Europe growth in overall IT spending is lagging behind other regions and will grow just 3.6 per cent this year to $697bn.
However, Fulton said the UK has been doing relatively well compared with other European countries. "The UK is probably the strongest economy in Europe at the moment," he said.
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