IDC’s New FutureScan Measures IT Spending Expectations and Foreshadows Future IT Growth Based on Monthly Supply and Demand Feeds

FRAMINGHAM, MA – August 31, 2004 – IDC today announced the launch of FutureScan, a set of market metrics that measure supply and demand in the IT industry based on leading indicators and customer surveys. Values reflect expectations of future growth, with an index value of 1000 indicating zero growth and each 10 points representing roughly 1% of expected growth or contraction. For September, the FutureScan Buyer Intent is 1085 with the Market Indicators at 1032.

Designed to reflect market demand for IT products and services, the Buyer Intent indicator is based on monthly surveys, conducted by IDC's Quantitative Research Group, which ask CIOs and line-of-business executives their expectations for IT spending growth over a 12-month period. The Market Indicators number combines inputs from economic and IT industry supply-side indicators, including the stock market, interest rates, and profit forecasts. IDC combines and weights these inputs using information developed in its Leading IT Indicators program on the relationship of macroeconomic trends to IT spending.

"FutureScan was designed to provide a reliable barometer of the IT market's direction and strength," said John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC. "This information will enable IT vendors to make more timely production and distribution decisions, before they become too costly. The information should also prove useful to investors who are evaluating their next market moves."

The September FutureScan shows that economic conditions are cooling while user spending expectations remain healthy. For August, the FutureScan Buyer Intent was 1102 and the Market Indicators stood at 1066. Despite these robust buyer expectations, IDC continues to predict that U.S. IT spending growth for the next 12 months will remain under 7%.

"Futurescan is another great way to interpret the survey data we receive from over 400 business and technology executives each month combined with other available indicators, including revenue forecasts for IT vendors," said Carol Glasheen, vice president of IDC's Quantitative Research Group. "By looking at buyer intentions in context with vendor revenue forecasts and background macroeconomic indicators, IDC FutureScan helps us understand how much of those expectations are wishful thinking and how much will result in real IT spending."

The global economic picture increasingly reflects daily changes in geopolitics and macroeconomic conditions. Futurescan enables executives to keep abreast of how these factors affect IT and telecom spending. Stephen Minton, director of IDC's IT Markets and Strategies program, and IDCs Leading IT Indicator program, points out that "IDC FutureScan provides an at-a-glance indicator of how macroeconomic and geopolitical events, like the recent oil shock, the war In Iraq, or rising interest rates might tangibly affect IT spending."

FutureScan results for September and prior months can be viewed at

For more information about FutureScan, or any other products from IDC's Global Research Organization, please contact Amie White at 617-935-4653 or

About IDC

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

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.