IT managers in large companies face tremendous challenges in the U.K. in 2004. Their budgets are smaller and their IT infrastructures are becoming increasingly complex. Many organizations are paying for under-utilized resources in some areas while lacking processing power to underpin new business processes in others. Utility computing promises the perfect solution – you only pay for what you use, when you use it – but is it a reality and can users benefit now? These are just some of the questions that will be addressed at IDC's “Utility, On-Demand, Grid Computing” conference, which will be held at the Radisson SAS Portman hotel in London on March 4.

"Vendors' promises of utility computing are being eagerly consumed by users looking at ways of benefiting from this style of business," said Martin Hingley, vice president of IDC's European Systems Group. "Users need to think not just about the technology and standard ways of interconnecting it, but also about the contracts they sign and how they pay for it."

The conference will demonstrate practical ways of using utility computing to plan a road map towards easier and more efficient computing. Solutions are available now and the conference will feature case studies from companies such as Superdrug and 422 Ltd. Event sponsors include Q Associates, Intel, Platform Computing, Hewlett-Packard and Computer Associates.

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