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Study: Aim for the States

With the U.S. finally coming out of its spell of economic stagnation, the latest research from analyst firm IDC warns IT vendors to think carefully about the local business dynamic if they want to successfully sell their products into the countrys data centers and IT departments.

The U.S. is still the most lucrative IT market, with certain states spending more than many countries around the world, according to IDC’s United States Black Book: State IT Spending by Vertical Market. Analysts found, for example, that the combined IT spending in California ($37.9 billion), New York ($29.5 billion), and Texas ($24.1 billion) in 2003 was nearly as large as that of Japan.

But the IT market has changed dramatically since the days of the dotcom boom and bust. Although the U.S. is emerging from a period of economic slowdown, corporate purse strings are not being loosened to the extent that many data center managers would like (see Survey: Data Center Staff in the Dumps).

According to IDC, vendors stand a better chance of winning a piece of this action if they tailor their sales pitches toward state specifics. For example, a vendor looking to sell products into high-tech manufacturing should also be looking at Oregon, not just California.

There are also other factors to consider. IDC says that states like Oregon and North Carolina have a lower-than-average cost of doing business, which could make them attractive prospects. New York, on the other hand, is regarded as something of a goldmine, thanks to the high proportion of financial organizations. But IDC warns that this also makes for a highly volatile business environment.

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