16 January 2003 | Robin Parker
IT buyers will need to navigate a "risky landscape of stressed vendors" in 2003, analyst firm Gartner has warned.
The company also predicts at least one top-end vendor will fold this year and urges businesses to develop contingency plans, such as building clauses against changes in ownership and lapses in service into software contracts.
In its report, Gartner View for Buyers of IT and IT Services, the company says software buying strategies will have to change to mitigate risk.
It urges buyers to time purchases based on the differing technology pricing trends and to ensure they get into positions in which they are interacting with their suppliers in real time.
Gartner's forecast comes as the Aberdeen Group predicted the emergence of "hybrid" supply chain vendors within a year.
It said these firms will go beyond offering systems integration and consulting services to help businesses develop supply chain process flows.
Aberdeen forecast that global IT spending will grow by about 4 per cent in 2003, compared with less than 1 per cent last year.
But the figure was called into question by US investment bank Goldman Sachs, which expects a 1 per cent fall.
Almost half of its panel of 100 IT managers said it will take at least a year for IT spending to accelerate again.