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[ISN] IDC: Cyberterror to hit in 2003


By Ed Frauenheim 
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
December 12, 2002, 4:55 PM PT

A major cyberterrorism event will occur in 2003, a technology research
group predicted on Thursday, one that will disrupt the economy and
bring the Internet to its knees for at least a day or two.

The event could take the form of a denial of service attack, a network
intrusion or even a physical attack on key network assets, said John
Gantz, chief research officer of IDC. Gantz spoke during a
teleconference in which the research company laid out its annual
forecast of technology developments in the coming year.

"The war with Iraq will galvanize hackers," Gantz said.

IDC's list of 10 predictions included sunnier projections, too,
however. Chief among them was the company's view that spending on
information technology and telecommunications will grow by more than 6
percent next year, reaching $1.9 trillion. Gantz said current data on
U.S. IT spending and revenues from technology vendors worldwide are

IDC generates the list of 10 projections by polling its more-than-700
analysts. Gantz said the company is usually right with 7 out of its 10
predictions. Successful predictions from last year, he said, included
"streaming media will catch on," "corporations will reset security
plans" and "Web services hype reaches hysteria levels."

IDC guessed wrong about widespread use of digital identification
services such as Microsoft's Passport product. The company was also
off-target in predicting an IT industry recovery beginning in

"We know in hindsight that's definitely not the case," Gantz said. "We
missed that one."

Other visions in IDC's crystal ball for 2003 are that sales of
midrange server computers will rebound to positive growth after a 20
percent contraction in 2002; that adoption of 64-bit computing will be
slow; and that the Linux operating system will snag market share from
the Unix operating system.

"We're saying that Linux will eat Unix," Gantz said.

According to IDC, a recent trend is companies deploying vital
commercial applications--such as stock exchange software--on clusters
of computers running Linux.

Other predictions from IDC include the following.

* The project-based IT services market will be flat or down again, as 
  companies scale down project size and turn to IT outsourcing. 

* Wireless local area networks will take off, which will delay the 
  introduction of so-called third-generation wireless communications 
  networks. IDC expects telecommunications carriers to use 
  visitor-based networks--so-called "hot spots"--for high-speed 
  Internet access. 

* Telecommunications capital expenditures will drop again, by at least 
  5 percent. But spending in emerging markets such as China, Malaysia, 
  Indonesia, and Russia will grow significantly, and spending to 
  support cellular services will grow. 

* Online messaging will grow by 27 percent, with no guarantee that 
  productivity will grow. The total number of emails sent will rise 30 
  percent to 40 billion a day, and the number of corporate instant 
  messaging users will double to more than 30 million. Spam and 
  automatic alerts and notifications will grow to almost 40 percent of 
  all email traffic. "There will be more spam in your life," Gantz 

* Imaging will go digital, but the industry will still center on film. 
  Digital images--from scanners, digital cameras and mobile 
  devices--will surpass the number of film images captured per day by 
  the end of the year. But because of factors including omnipresence 
  and ease-of-use, film will remain relevant. 

Apart from those 10 prophecies, Gantz said software growth will be a
relatively modest 7.5 percent worldwide. The hottest software sectors
will include security products and software that simplifies or manages
programs already in place, he said. What's more, IT outsourcing--in
which companies manage a client's IT operations or take over tasks
such as tech support--is the fastest-growing part of IT services,
boasting double-digit growth, Gantz said. The shift of IT work
offshore will continue, he said. If you're going to provide IT
outsourcing, "you're going to have to farm some of that work
overseas," Gantz said.

IDC also expects some major statistical thresholds to be surpassed in 
the coming year: 

* Cell phones installed: more than 1.5 billion * eMail boxes: more
than 1 billion * PCs installed: more than 600 million * Internet
users: more than 700 million * Mobile Internet users: more than 250
million * Broadband households: more than 80 million * IT spending:  
more than $900 billion * Telecom spending: more than $975 billion *
Internet commerce: more than $1.5 trillion.

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