Overall IT spending has bottomed out, and 2004 and 2005 will see a "minimum of strong single-digit growth" over 2003 levels, according to industry analysts.
Latest research by analyst Gartner indicates that the predicted recovery will be patchy, with growth rates varying widely by technology sector.
"We are now seeing a true recovery in the making," stated Al Lill, group vice president for Gartner.
"There is a key combination of technology advances, architectural changes, market forces and best practices in place to lead a good recovery for IT in the near future, and culminating in very strong growth in the longer term."
Gartner predicts that the recovery will be coupled with a "tremendous skills shift" within the IT workforce that will affect hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of workers.
Areas in which skills will be most highly valued include broadband, wireless, Linux, content management, real-time analytics, data mining, security, middleware, certification skills, business intelligence and knowledge management.
A significant vendor consolidation cycle will accelerate through 2005, by which time more than half of current technology suppliers will be eliminated from the competitive landscape, according to the analyst.
An important ramification of this will be the ability of vendors to regain pricing power in several technology sectors.
"Real productivity gains will be achieved through the replacement or greatly diminished role of entire industries," said Lill.
"For example, the combination of secure broadband wireless, very low-power consumption mobile electronics and new display technologies will have stunning consequences for the publishing, media and advertising industries, to name a few."
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