The IT industry is set to continue its boom period, according to predictions by market research firm Dataquest on the opening day of its Service Trends conference in San Francisco this week.
According to Dataquest, the total semiconductor industry will grow by around 13 per cent during the current year, up from last year?s figure of 9.4 per cent. The market will largely be driven by multimedia chips. But Intel will have less than a 50 per cent share of new Pentium-class sales by 1998.
In the PC sector, the research firm is sticking its neck out and backing Apple to have what it calls "a relatively strong year" in 1997. Worldwide PC sales will shoot up by 17.5 per cent to reach 85 million units this year, although in the US market Dataquest foresees a dropping off of consumer purchases of PCs.
The telecomms industry will see some radical changes. Most notably, the 80:20 rule of network traffic - 80 per cent local and 20 per cent backbone - will be turned on its head as end users deploy Intranet servers in greater numbers. By the turn of the century, Dataquest expects over half Web servers to be deployed on Intranets.
A poll of Dataquest?s corporate clients shows that the installation of Intranets during 1997 and 1998 is the major IT project in almost 80 per cent of sites, taking priority over the Year 2000 conversion issue, which less than half of customers ranked as a key initiative in their plans.
But the research group expects to see a boom in the development of enterprise resource planning systems and applications. This will be fuelled by a desire among users to replace their disjointed data repositories and organisationally focused systems with integrated data warehousing and process-based solutions.
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