“Exuberant celebrations” off the cards for 2008

“Exuberant celebrations” off the cards for 2008

Virtualisation, unified communications and software-as-a-service are among the top technologies that will drive the New Zealand IT market in 2008, according to industry leaders.

However, the market is predicted to grow at a subdued rate of 3.3 percent to become worth more than $11.5 billion in 2008, which is unlikely to lead to “exuberant celebrations”, says research firm IDC.

Though the company predicts that a number of “disruptive market forces”, such as green IT, will lead to strong growth opportunities for those who are willing to take on the challenges these disruptions will bring.

“This disruption is changing the market landscape and competitive forces, presenting strong growth opportunities for vendors that are prepared to face the challenges that will come alongside these disruptions,” says IDC country manager Amit Gupta.

One such disruptive force in the market will be green IT, which Gupta says will have a major impact on the industry this year.

Gupta is one of several industry leaders polled by Reseller News on their picks on the trends and technologies that will shape the market in 2008.

Virtualisation, unified communications and software-as-a-service topped most of the respondents’ lists of where the main opportunities lie for the channel this year.

Increasing pressure for technology to be more “green”, a tight labour market and security issues are meanwhile expected to continue to challenge the industry this year.

Geoff Lawrie, managing director of Cisco New Zealand, believes the local industry will see a stable, competitive and modest-growth environment over the coming 12 months.

“Most companies will need to work pretty hard at their business, be clear about their value proposition and their competitive positioning, and be able to point to a strong business case to support investment.”

His counterpart at Microsoft, Kevin Ackhurst, says while the local technology industry has some key challenges to overcome such as the skills shortage, figures contained in an IDC survey into the economic impact of the sector on the New Zealand economy are heartening.

“[The] survey showed that over the next four years, New Zealand’s IT industry will drive $2.6 billion in new incremental tax revenues and contribute new revenues of $2.8 billion to New Zealand’s GDP.”

The study also showed that spending in IT in New Zealand will create more than 11,000 new jobs and create more than 300 new IT companies, says Ackhurst.

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