The Western European government, education, and healthcare sectors are fully committed to investing in IT solutions in 2004 to support strategic modernisation aimed at reducing cost and improving quality of services, according to a new Vertical Market Survey from IDC.
The survey revealed that key areas of investment for 2004 in the government, education, and healthcare sectors include security, databases, collaborative technologies, ERP, content management, and CRM.
"The complexity of changes, which will require anything from business re-engineering to a range of IT products and services to make the modernisation process effective and efficient, creates opportunities for all IT vendors able to tailor their offerings to meet the needs of government, education, and healthcare institutions," said Massimiliano Claps, senior research analyst for IDC's European Vertical Markets expertise centre.
In 2004, according to the survey, Western European governments - prompted by European and national IT guidelines - will continue to invest in the setting up of comprehensive information systems.
Investment in industry-specific solutions will be centred around citizen portals (approximately 80% of local governments plan to invest in citizen web portals over the next 12 months), call centres, electronic ID, and geographical information systems.
In education, national governments are planning to support the purchase of advanced IT solutions.
Investment priorities will focus on student management systems (70% of educational institutions plan to invest in these over the next 12 months), education portals, classroom applications, and e-learning.
Healthcare agencies are to invest in the establishment of comprehensive information systems as a result of mounting budget pressure and poor performance of healthcare processes.
Investment in industry-specific solutions will mainly include electronic patient records (almost 85% of healthcare providers plan to invest in these in the short term), patient accounting, electronic prescribing, and picture archiving systems.
IDC's 'European Vertical Market Survey' was carried out in November and December 2003 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, and examined government, education, and healthcare organisations that have more than twenty employees.
Separate studies resulting from the survey include: 'Western Europe, Government Sector, IT Solutions Adoption and Investments', 'Western European Education Sector IT Solutions Adoption and Investment', and 'Western Europe, Healthcare Sector, IT Solutions Adoption and Investments', all three of which focus on IT solution adoption and investment patterns for horizontal enterprise solutions and industry-specific and vertical applications; they also cover implementation strategy, preferred application type, reasons for not adopting CRM, and an overview of investment plans in security application areas.