The UK’s exit from recession and traditional interest in innovation has made it the fastest growing corporate market for computer-based technology, according to a report by Computer Intelligence Europe. Overall demand has grown 28% since January 1994; in Italy it grew 18%; Spain, 16%, and Germany, 15%. France lagged behind at 6%, largely because of uncertainty created by the presidential elections. The report, IT Demand Trends In Europe, follows a survey into what Bracknell, Berkshire-based Computer Intelligence Europe, a subsidiary of Computer Intelligence InfoCorp, described as concrete, budgeted, purchasing plans of 100,000 corporations across Europe over the last five quarters. The company sells the data to vendors planning marketing strategies. It found the biggest demand, continent-wide, was for products for local area networks, reflecting companies moving to client-server architecture; in the UK market demand grew 66%; Italy 60%, Spain 57%, Germany 26%; demand actually fell in France. Surprisingly, given the demand for networking products, demand for personal computers has not been high: the UK and Germany recorded growth of 32% and Spain had 20%; but Italy and France actually declined to 22% and 18% respectively. People are still buying 80486-based mac hines; Pentiums appear to be bought by smaller companies for whom upgrading would not be quite the upheaval as it would be for a large company with multiple sites. The only area in which the UK did not lead the way was applications, where Spain recorded a massive 71% growth rate. The UK’s rate was 45%, Italy grew 24%, Germany 19% and France’s was barely perceptible. The report also showed that demand for mainframes is not dead: although not growing rapidly, the sector held its own, again with the UK leading the way at 27% growth in demand. Italy came next at 23% and then there was a big drop to Spain’s 7%; Germany remained static; France dropped 3%. But the research company pointed out that the demand was from companies upgrading or expanding existing systems; no company without a mainframe had bought one in the period covered, and demand should start dropping from now on.
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