IT Consulting Market Enters Phase of Solid Growth, and EMEA Will Surpass the Americas in Spending by 2009, IDC Finds

FRAMINGHAM, MA – APRIL 17, 2006 – According to a newly released IDC study, IT consulting will be an area of increasing vendor focus, innovation, and user spending. IDC expects worldwide IT consulting to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% for the 2006-2010 forecast period, with slightly rising growth rates each year. The study reveals several accelerators of spending for IT consulting, such as current pricing trends, which reflect less buyer price sensitivity in high-demand areas of IT consulting; the reemergence of top-line business growth as a spending driver; and the continued bundling of IT consulting with outsourcing.

"After a somewhat prolonged period of stagnation, the IT consulting services market has clearly seen a return to many positive trends," said Bo Di Muccio, Ph.D., program manager for Consulting Services research. "IDC has seen an increase in average utilization rates, moderate stabilization in project/contract size, sharply rejuvenated hiring activity, and an increase in corporate focus on core services – a key driver of external IT services spending."

The IDC study also finds that regionally, the Americas currently host the largest market for IT consulting spending; however, the EMEA region will take the lead by 2009 and remain in this position through 2010. Overall, the fastest growing geographies for IT consulting in the next five years will be Latin America and CEMA (Central Europe, Middle East and Africa).

Key trends that are shaping the IT consulting marketplace include:

— Stabilization in pricing

— Reemergence of growth as a spending driver

— Continued bundling of IT consulting with outsourcing

— Rapidly increasing number and range of players

— Productization of offerings

— Pervasive talent crunch

— Stabilization in project size/scope

IDC defines IT consulting as advisory services around information technology. Examples of IT consulting engagements include evaluating an IS organization's help desk operation or determining the best technology to meet a company's order fulfillment process. IT consulting can also include product- or package-specific consulting and IT strategy or IT governance consulting more generally. The major service lines within IT consulting are IT strategy, IT assessment and planning, and IT design architecture.

The study, Worldwide IT Consulting 2006-2010 Forecast (IDC #35049), presents fact-based forecasts that recommend the areas (geographies and service lines) in which the drivers and growth of IT consulting will be over the next five years. The study also offers a comprehensive analysis of the global IT consulting market, based on an analysis of consulting buyers' needs and behavior, market trends and imperatives, the competitive landscape, pricing, and talent management dynamics.

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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. Over 850 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends. For more than 42 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