IDC: Tech Bucks, Hack Threats Up

Tuesday, 24 December 2002, 12:23 PM EST

There's good news and there's bad news for 2003.

The good news is corporate technology spending is finally expected to rise. The bad news is that U.S. computer networks are as vulnerable as ever to attack.

In a series of predictions for the new year, IDC analysts said the economy could expect a boost from an increase in corporate IT spending. But the market research firm also expects a coordinated terrorist attack that will bring the Internet "down to its knees for a day or two" as retaliation against the United States if it goes to war with Iraq.

"We hope to say at the end of the year that this didn't come to pass," said IDC chief research officer John Gantz.

Every year, IDC, which employs 720 analysts in 43 countries, makes 10 predictions for the upcoming year. In the six years it has made such forecasts, it has usually gotten seven out of 10 predictions right, Gantz said.

The company thinks it has a finger on the pulse of what's hot and what's not for 2003, although some of its competitors disagree. A few of its predictions -- such as a rebound in the midrange server market and slow but steady adoption of 64-bit computing -- were standard IT analyst fare. Others, like impending terrorist-hack attacks and the expectation that spam will rise to become 40 percent of all e-mail traffic, have implications far beyond enterprise computing.

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