European End-Users’ ‘Wait and See’ Attitude Leads to a Decrease in IT Services Growth, Says IDC

MADRID – June 12, 2009 – IDC has downgraded its European IT services forecast for 2009 by one percentage point from +0.6% to -0.6% as a result of the deteriorating economic climate. According to a forthcoming IDC study, the Western European IT services market will grow at a CAGR of 3.2% between 2009 and 2013.

Western European GDP growth expected for 2009 dropped from -2.5% in March to the current -4.0%, leading us once more to revise our IT estimates downwards. However, the latest available GDP data supports the view of a depressed but stabilizing environment and the uncertainty of the forecast is therefore declining. Looking beyond 2009, IDC foresees a slow recovery to start in 2010, with a modest 1.3% growth. We expect that players that have progressed quickly in transforming their cost base towards a more global and industrialized service delivery will gain share at the expense of those with a lower level of industrialization.

The economic crisis has created a natural break point at which many organizations are taking a step backwards: putting major decisions on hold while they revisit their strategies. There has been a visible change in the IT services demand environment, as clients have to deal with a macro environment full of continuing economic challenges that have an impact on their strategic priorities.

"Companies are rethinking their top priorities, looking at projects that will provide an immediate return on investment, deferring large new IT projects, and turning to outsourcing to lower their cost structures," said Laura Converso, research manager, IDC European Software and Services.

IDC expects a decline of 3.0% in project-oriented activities for 2009 as customers continue to delay decisions about new project work and adds-on to already deployed systems. Despite this, clients continue to invest in projects that help them tackle their key pain points in areas such as customer retention, supply chain optimization, and MÀintegration.

In outsourcing, we anticipate 4.2% growth with a minor 0.2% reduction from our previous estimate due to strong price pressure in the managed services segment. In contrast, demand for application outsourcing and in particular for application consolidation and optimization remains strong, as clients are seeking opportunities for short-term cost reductions.

The forecast for support and training has been reduced to -4.8% for 2009. We expect a late-cyclical deploy and support market to suffer in the next few months the sharp decline in hardware shipments and software license rates occurring today. IT training will decline by 10.4% as educational activities continue to be cancelled or replaced by on-the-job instruction during the downturn.

IDC has lowered the IT services forecast for 2009 and 2010 in all countries, since the economic conditions continue to deteriorate in the 16 Western European countries, with no exception. Ireland and the Netherlands will be hit more than other European economies, but for different reasons. The Irish IT services market cannot escape the general macro environment and the drastic 8% contraction of the economy. Meanwhile, the Dutch IT services market is a victim of its strong dependence on time and material (T&M) activities. TÎœprojects depend on expensive onshore billing rates, and are less "offshorable" activities; limiting the Dutch service providers' ability to maneuver, as their poor performance in 1Q09 thoroughly demonstrates.

The study, Western European IT Services Market 2008-2013, a 2Q Forecast Update, provides an update of the Western European IT services forecast published in March 2009, and includes quantitative analysis of IT services spending by 12 foundation markets and 16 countries.

For more information, please contact your local IDC office.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 44 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting[].

M2 Communications disclaims all liability for information provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data prepared by named party/parties. Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at[] on the world wide web. Inquiries to