A "tech resurrection" will occur in 2004 as worldwide IT spending bounces back to solid positive growth, according to IDC.
But the analyst warned that the growth will produce an IT industry very different from that of the past 30 years.
Instead of the traditional reliance on vertically integrated, proprietary systems and system software, the business model will change to standards-based commodity computing to meet the budget limitations and efficiency demands of customers.
IDC believes that the full impact of this move will be felt for the first time in 2004.
"The shift toward commodity computing is a massive structural change that has been underway for several years," said Frank Gens, senior vice president of research at IDC.
"But 2004 will be the first year where virtually all the leading hardware and software players have standards-based products at the centre of their offerings.
"To succeed in this commodity market, vendors will have to learn how to differentiate their products without the protection of proprietary fences."
IDC suggested that this will present serious challenges for many players, and will set the stage for some major market shifts by 2007.
Additionally the industry watcher expects to see offshore IT services continue to grow as service providers continue aggressively to build offshore capacity into delivery models and cost structures.
"Offshore outsourcing represents a structural shift that is just as significant to the services industry as commodity computing is to hardware and software makers. It's a trend that's here to stay," said Gens.
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