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Enterprise IT To Spend More On Wireless Activity

Enterprise IT managers will increasingly draw upon a new, complex set of wireless solutions, according to a report from Strategy Analytics. The market-research firm expects IT wireless expenditures to reach $115 billion in 2009--eight percent of total IT spending.

The field will be a challenging one, too, said the firm's director of Wireless Enterprise Strategies, Cliff Raskind. "This is a huge headache for IT managers right now," said Raskind in an interview. "IT is feeling the squeeze. On the one hand, it's facing massive complexity and a lot of cost. But on the other hand, individual employees are coming up with their own solutions-like [using] instant messaging" as well as additional individual solutions, such as mobile e-mail.

Raskind said the survey found that large IT organizations will develop their own in-house wireless solutions, while small to medium-size businesses--typically 250 employees ore less--will increasingly rely on wireless and mobile-phone operators for their wireless solutions.

"In the developed markets of North America, Western Europe, and Asia-Pacific," Raskind said, "there exists a vast yet amorphous ecosystem of vendors with a seemingly endless profusion of ways to usher wireless data into the enterprise. All are jockeying for position." Raskind said one unifying event is likely to come from Microsoft, when it releases the next version of its Exchange Server. The next release, and subsequent releases, will help ease the handling of wireless technologies.

The report lists the vertical industries in which it expects the most growth. As expected, the so-called FIRE businesses--finance, insurance, and real estate--will continue their historical position as early adopters of new wireless. "Mobile e-mail, by itself, could be the application that sends wireless IT over the top," said Raskind. "Mobile sales force automation, for instance, is real critical now."

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