Fragile Economies Inhibit Nordic IT Spending, Says IDC
While the U.S. economy is clearly on a path to recovery, the picture in the Nordic countries is much more fragile Â— leading to softness in IT spending.
In the Nordic region the road to an improved business climate is very bumpy, with surprises along the way. The Danish economy deteriorated in the second half of 2003, leading to a surprise downgrading of GDP growth for the year to -0.1%. This also resulted in lower expectations for 2004. Meanwhile the Norwegian economy seems to be holding up, and in Sweden the economy has proved stronger than previously expected, with GDP growth of 1.5% last year, while in January the Swedish government increased its 2004 outlook from 2.0% to 2.2% GDP growth.
The story is clear therefore: there are major variations between Nordic countries, and the economies are characterized by significant upgrades and downgrades in outlook.
This leaves IT investment in a volatile state. Companies are becoming more cautious in an unpredictable environment and IT investments are looked at with concern. As IT investment is increasingly seen as a cost item, this is one of the areas approached with a conservative attitude in an environment in need of risk reduction.
To reflect the changing expectations among the Nordic countries, IDC has updated its IT growth expectations for 2004 for the Nordic countries (see table).
For vendors addressing this market, the changes spell a need to address a more fragile IT investment climate. Key factors here will be risk reduction, cost focus, and flexibility. Users will be looking for IT solutions that will provide cost savings within a short period of time, and more important than ever will be predictability of the IT investments. At the same time solutions must be flexible enough to allow companies to leverage the possible upturns that might materialize in their markets.
"Over the next six months, IT spending will be driven by vendors rather than IT users. The conservative climate for investment will require vendors to become proactive in their sales and marketing activities," said Per Andersen, managing director of IDC Nordic. "Key to success will be effective marketing campaigns and sales activities that demonstrate the reliability and predictability of the solutions."
IDC Updated Nordic IT Market Forecasts, 2004
(Real Terms, Local Currencies)
Previous Forecast 2004Revised Forecast 2004
Source: IDC, February 2004
To purchase IDC´s Nordic Quarterly Executive Service, Q1 2004 (IDC #N520401L, February 2004), please contact one of the following:
Andreas Lange, Denmark, +45 39 16 22 43
Pelle Hallberg, Norway, Sweden, and Nordic, +46 8 751 0415
Pipsa Ylä-Mononen, Finland, +358 9 8770 4654
Alternatively, please visit www.idc.com
IDC is the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm in the information technology and telecommunications industries. We analyze and predict technology trends so that our clients can make strategic, fact-based decisions on IT purchases and business strategy. Over 700 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide local expertise and insights on technology markets. Business executives and IT managers have relied for 40 years on our advice to make decisions that contribute to the success of their organizations.
IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world´s leading technology media, research, and events company. Additional information can be found at www.idc.com
# # #
All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
For more information, contact:
+45 39 16 22 22