Aberdeen Group, a leading market analysis and positioning services firm, announced its top predictions for trends that will influence the technology industry in 2003 and over the long term. According to Aberdeen's 2003 IT Outlook, its predictions include:

Global IT Spending Will Grow in 2003 – Aberdeen expects 2003 to be a modest growth year for the IT industry, following several quarters of negative or anemic growth. IT spending worldwide will grow about 4 percent in 2003, up from less than 1 percent growth in 2002.

Enterprise Business Integration (EBI) Initiatives – Business integration in all forms will continue to command a large portion of corporate budgets, resulting in a moderate increase in spending over 2002.

Storage Gets Some Respect – "Information utility," a model championed by suppliers such as IBM and Sun Microsystems, will become increasingly popular in 2003. As the functions of storage, servers and communications disaggregate to create a more efficient data center, storage will no longer be considered a peripheral function.

Enterprise Linux to Make Inroads – Linux will continue to make inroads in the enterprise in 2003. On top of a 50 percent-plus growth rate in enterprise servers in 2002, Aberdeen forecasts a 40 percent growth rate for Linux servers in 2003.

Outsourcing: One Bright Spot in the IT Services Industry – Due to corporations' focus on enterprise IT cost reduction, Aberdeen predicts that outsourcing in all forms, including IT and business process outsourcing, will command a greater portion of corporate budgets in the coming year.

Identify Theft Problem to Multiply – Total economic losses to consumers, business, merchants, credit issuers and the financial industry are expected to increase approximately three-fold in 2003, to $24 billion. This compares with $8.75 billion in losses due to identity theft during 2002.

Residential WiFi Catches On – As it grapples with the issues of overcapacity and razor-thin margins, the telecommunications sector will continue to struggle in 2003. However, wireless data services in the form of WiFi will be a bright spot for telecom in the coming year. Residential WiFi will emerge as a dominant area in 2003.

Supply Chain Management Advances – Aberdeen has identified three significant issues to emerge in the supply chain applications space in 2003, including an increasing number of enterprises will create a common infrastructure to run, integrate and interoperate business processes that can be shared internally across divisions and externally with suppliers; many enterprises will deploy internal "SWOT" teams to find and leverage unused technology investments; hybrid" supply chain vendors will emerge.

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