Western European spending on hardware, software and services that support discrete manufacturing processes (processes which result in a single product) will grow at an average of 3.9% over the next four years to reach $48 billion in 2009, according to new research by market analysts at IDC.
In recent years, software has been the fastest growing segment of discrete manufacturing IT, with demand expected to rise 3.3% over 2005 to $10.7 billion and to sustain a compound average growth of just under 5% over the next four years.
In contrast, spending on IT services in the sector will creep up 1.8% to $17.5 billion in 2005, before gaining pace. Over 2005-2009, services growth will average 4.7% to reach $21 billion.
This albeit modest growth indicates a move away from the cost-cutting strategies that manufacturers have employed in the last few years to a renewed interest in increasing revenue through innovation and customer loyalty.
Alongside software and services, the market for discrete manufacturing hardware will rise at around 2% from $13 billion in 2005 to $14 billion in 2009.