The worldwide IT economy will rebound strongly by 2006, according to research analysts Gartner.
Gartner CEO Michael Fleischer claimed that most enterprises will soon change their strategic focus from cutting costs and protecting profits to aggressively driving growth.
Speaking at the Gartner Symposium in Sydney on Tuesday, Fleischer said the Gartner forecast was based on a "confluence of major events and emergent new technologies".
On the major events side, Gartner is heavily backing a continuing expansion of the US economy with a strong lift in gross domestic product to liberate the wallets of CEOs, whose businesses will experience sustained growth over the next three years.
The CEO showed a selection of economic predictions taken from the CIA's 'Global Insight' report to support his case.
He compared the ability of enterprises to change with the economic times to the perils of steering a motorcycle fast through turns – businesses that were unable to adapt to growth in time would end up eating gravel, he said.
"What is true on a motorcycle is true in business. If you close you eyes for ten seconds, you’re fine – if the road is straight. If there’s a curve in the road, you’re dead," Fleischer said.
Fleischer nominated four key growth technologies: secure wireless broadband; very low-power-consumption mobile devices (and screens), easy access to real-time infrastructure, and the widespread pervasion of service-oriented architectures.
Fleischer said that some of the most immediate manifestations of these technologies were now being experienced in the transport and logistics industries, which are rapidly deploying RFID (radio-frequency identification) systems to manage goods on a real-time basis.
"The ability to identify, track and log in real-time will make a huge difference to the transport industry," Fleischer said.
To survive the new wave of growth, Fleischer urged IT managers and enterprises to upgrade their skill sets in line with the predicted trends, saying that those who invest now will be "very well rewarded".
"By 2006 the next wave of technology will fuel in stunning ways. By 2006 the ramifications will be huge," Fleischer said.