Midsize Businesses Lead Growth in Western European IT Spending in 2004, Says IDC

According to a recently published IDC study, IT spending in the Western European business sector is expected to have grown 3.4% in 2004, reaching a value of around $267 billion. This growth varies according to size class and vertical, and in 2004 medium-sized companies lead growth with a 5.4% rise in IT spending, while spending growth in the healthcare sector was particularly dramatic.

The main results of the study are:
During 2004, SMBs (1-499 employees) are expected to account for around 53% of total IT spending in Western Europe. It is anticipated that this proportion will be maintained for the whole forecast period.
Of these, small companies (1-99 employees) are expected to continue to show slower growth, even if demand strengthens during the forecast period to 2008. Many of these companies are still laggards in terms of IT solutions adoption.
Meanwhile, midsize companies (100-499 employees) are expected to grow faster in 2004. Spending in this size class is anticipated to grow 5.4%, the highest growth by size. In view of the increasing availability of solutions fitting their needs, and a more strategic approach to IT investments, these companies are catching up with large enterprises and represent a very attractive segment for IT vendors.
Large and very large companies (500+ employees) are expected to return to higher than average growth in the medium term, and throughout the forecast period (2003-2008), these companies are expected once more to lead IT spending growth.
Small and midsize healthcare institutions are the most dynamic sector in terms of IT spending growth in the forecast period. To satisfy increasingly patient-centric process requirements, these institutions must transform and modernize their operations, helped by IT.

IDC's study, Western European SMB IT Spending 2003-2008, Forecast Update (IDC #MM54L, December 2004), provides new data and analysis on Western European IT spending trends in small and medium business for the period 2003 to 2008. This study is an update of Western Europe SMB IT Spending Forecast, 2003-2008 (IDC #MM01L, May 2004). IT spending data is provided by company size (small and midsize businesses). To allow for comparison, IT spending details are also provided for large businesses (500-999 and 1,000+ employees), for 16 industries (with sub-vertical detail according to the General Industrial Classification of Economic Activities within the European Union Divisions).

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