Reading the runes

10 Feb 2009 View Comments
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Wouldn’t it be great if you could conjure a glimpse of the future - what would you do? You could take a look at next weekend’s Six Nations clash between Wales and England, confirm the drubbing Wales are going to dish out and get down the bookies for a rather large bet. However, if you’re interested in what the future might hold for the technology industry, there’s no need to resort to witchcraft just yet, Intellect's Regent conference has all the answers.  I’m blogging live from the conference and having just spent the morning listening to several savvy and knowledgeable speakers, I wanted to give you an overview of a fascinating session.

I think it’s fair to say that for a man who has a modest understanding of the economic situation, I now feel I could go 12 rounds with a Robert Peston/Rory Cellan-Jones hybrid. Paul Robinson, Chief Sterling Strategist at Barclays, gave a very neat summary of the main factors driving the financial crisis, and for all those planning to postpone their holidays to next year you’ll be pleased to hear about the predicted recovery of Sterling versus the Dollar and the Euro (Disney resorts cue a sigh of relief). John Gantz, Chief Research Officer and Senior Vice President of IDC, identified big opportunities in the ICT market which could arise out of this crisis including; SaaS, mobile data, IT outsourcing & BPO. Although we have seen fallout in the ICT budget, John expects the world wide ICT spend to rise from 0.7% in 2009 to 6.3% in 2012 – so light at the end of a particularly dark tunnel. Jon Moulton, of Alchemy Partners, was slightly less optimistic about the general economic outlook and highlighted excessive debt as something which had hurt private equity investment levels. On a broader level Jon highlighted the implementation of a next generation broadband network as a stimulus which could help the UK break out of the downturn.

Looking around at lunchtime it’s clear to see people are in the mood to talk about the morning session. We’ve got equally impressive speakers in the afternoon slot, which I’ll update you on later.

Daniel Smyth, Programme Executive

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