IDC predicts disruptive year in 2007

The next year could be an extremely disruptive one for the IT industry, if IDC's analysts are correct. Several analysts made their annual predictions last week, and they say that many of the buzzwords that

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are already floating around – service oriented architecture (SOA), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and intellectual property – will give headaches to anyone with a penchant for the status quo.

The Framingham, Mass.-based analyst firm also said several big-name vendors, like Microsoft, EMC, IBM, SAP and Oracle, will probably develop dynamic information platforms in an effort to grab that market and support their SOA products.

Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will help drive the industry, with an expected 8.4% growth in that sector as compared to 6.6% for IT spending overall. Tapping into this market, even if it requires enterprise products to "scale down," will be vital for major vendors, said Frank Gens, senior vice president of research at IDC.

Software, hardware and services won't be the only things moving money. Hewlet-Packard Co., in Palo Alto, Calif., will probably buy an independent company in the coming year, and San Francisco-based is likely to be acquired, IDC analysts said.

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