IT spending by western European manufacturing firms will reach $41.3bn in 2005, with year-on-year growth of 1.7 per cent expected between 2005 and 2009.
A new IDC study predicted that IT spending in the sector will demonstrate a compound annual growth rate of approximately 3.8 per cent driven by software investments.
However, IDC's forecast for hardware spending in the discrete manufacturing industry has been revised down from its April 2005 forecast.
The analyst firm's latest expectation for year-on-year growth in western European discrete manufacturing spending on hardware technology in 2005 is now negative at 0.1 per cent.
On a more positive note, IDC anticipates that software spending growth will be slightly higher than anticipated when compared to hardware investments and will reach 4.4 per cent in 2005.
Jennifer Thomson, programme manager for IDC's European vertical markets, said: "The only constant for manufacturers is change, so companies have to rapidly adopt new business models and strategies to drive their businesses forward.
"From analysing the challenges inherent in the manufacturing industry today the end goal is really about how to achieve lower operating costs, enhance productivity gains, and increase visibility across the supply chain, while sustaining the continuous product innovation necessary to respond to dynamic market and customer requirements.
"The ultimate goal is to allow the attainment of competitive value advantages that move beyond competitive cost advantages."
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