There may be some doubts over managing bandwidth and guaranteeing quality, but no matter: IT managers say voice over IP is the technology they intend to focus on most over the next two years.
IDC’s South Pacific Forecast for Management, released at the research firm’s annual Directions conference in May, found usage of VoIP at the end of 2001 at 11.27%.
Looking ahead two years, IT managers expected this to rise to 43.7%, signalling growth that approaches 400% -- leading IDC’s "champagne" list. Smart cards, which took a 44% drop between last year and now (thus being consigned to IDC’s "porridge" stakes), are expected to come back into favour, their two-year growth picked to hit 366%.
Other technologies tipped to breach the 200% growth figure are WAP/I-mode mobile technologies, supply chain management, biometrics (shades of September 11?), storage area networks, salesforce automation, workflow management and exchanges, the last perhaps seeing a comeback after getting a right kicking from prospective punters a couple of years back. Several of these putative high-fliers were alongside smart cards (VoIP, salesforce automation, workflow, supply chain) in the "porridge" out-tray, suggesting a reassessment, or perhaps a two-year cycle.
Suppliers of SAN technology and services, along with biometrics vendors, must be rubbing their hands together – IDC says last year they did the thing Marie Antoinette’s subjects probably didn’t do (and she didn’t say) and ate cake. In the year to last December, respondents said their usage of SANs rose from 5.7% to the 11.27% quoted above, while biometrics rose in favour from 4.43% to 7.04%.
Other technologies that saw steady growth in usage last year were wireless LANS (communications-wise, frame relay usage also rose last year, while growth in DSL usage fell; as it did in the broadband microwave-based wireless technology LMDS), ERP, document management, Linux servers and ... IT services quality certification.
Email your thoughts on IDC’s gustatory findings to Mark Broatch.