Without advances in technology to cope with increasingly complex systems, the IT industry will need 200 million new workers, according to the European vice president of IBM's software group.
Speaking at the IBM Software Symposium in Munich, Tom Francese said: "The pace of change with businesses out on the net, and increasing numbers of businesses connected without some new management, would mean 200 million more IT workers."
Francese explained that 10 billion emails are sent every day, due to rise to 35 billion by 2006, while 30 per cent of employee time is spent just looking for information to do their jobs.
He said that business-to-business e-commerce is now firmly in place, and that a borderless marketplace valued at $1 trillion could become a reality by the end of the decade.
But big savings need to be made, according to Franchese, who identified partnerships, integration and Linux as vital ingredients.
Integration was the number one priority for IT directors during 2002, and web services is becoming part of our daily lives "to get there faster", said Francese.
He explained that IT companies will need to collaborate on standards while competing on integration.
IBM estimated that over 50 per cent of large enterprises are now shifting to developing applications on Linux, while half of mid-sized companies are looking at it.
"Linux is no longer on the fringe," said Francese. "Companies are putting it their data centres. It's a truly disruptive technology, because it accelerates change, but economic conditions demand new ideas."
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