Systems integrators have enjoyed their best ever year since the dotcom boom, IDC has reported.
The analyst firm said that the market for systems integrator services in 2005 experienced its strongest year since the late 1990s.
After years of "sluggish returns and historic lows", the worldwide market experienced moderate growth of about four per cent in 2005, indicating healthy customer demand.
IDC believes that the improved economic conditions, pent-up demand and a desire to align business processes with IT systems drove the spending.
The market watcher's research indicates that high-growth areas include investments in SOA, infrastructure improvements and application services.
"Systems integrators that have invested in emerging areas, stayed close to customers, and focused on efficient execution are well positioned to capitalise on the market as it improves," said Stephanie Torto, programme manager for IDC's systems integration business strategies research.
"Companies that will succeed in this market will be those that embrace the evolution of the software environment, collaborate closely with partners and customers, possess a strong understanding of industry-specific business processes, and have a mature and seamless global delivery capability."
The IDC report predicted that the competitive landscape for the systems integrator services market will continue to evolve as vendors balance their investments with their overall portfolio of offerings.
Accenture, fuelled by its momentum in 2004, is well positioned to take advantage of a rebounding systems integrator market and customers' pent-up demand for services. Accenture was the top worldwide systems integrator in 2005.
However, the diversity of players found in the worldwide systems integrator market reflects the reality of the IT services market.
IDC believes that consolidation will mirror the type of activity characteristic of the market over the past few years, i.e. targeted niche acquisitions for specific industry or technical skills.
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