IDC’s Directions 2009 to Focus on the Opportunities and Challenges of ICT at a Watershed

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – February 19, 2009 – The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) industry has reached a watershed moment, brought on by innovation, rapidly changing user behavior, and, perhaps most importantly, the global economic slowdown. The challenges and opportunities that lie ahead will be explored at IDC's 44th annual Directions conferences, to be held March 4 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., and March 17 at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Mass.

In his opening presentation, IDC's Chief Research Officer and Senior Vice President John Gantz will illustrate how the rapid spread of technology into everyday life is putting ever-greater stress on suppliers, all of whom are competing for growth in tough economic times. "As the dynamics of technology adoption change – and they are changing fast – the dynamics of technology deployment have to accelerate to keep up with demand. This means new opportunities as well as increased risks for suppliers, both of which are compounded by the uncertainties of the current economic situation," said Gantz.

A challenging economy and fleeting market opportunities demand that ICT suppliers rethink their customer relationships and, by extension, the buying experience. While sales is often the most visible point of failure in a customer relationship, it is also a critical part of any solution. IDC Senior Vice President Clare Gillan will discuss what buyers are saying about their customer experience and how suppliers must transform their marketing and sales organizations to gain a sustainable edge. Similarly, Group Vice President Danielle Levitas will show how every transaction with an end user creates a wealth of information that, when understood and married with customer segmentation, will drive the successful businesses of tomorrow. Closing out the morning sessions, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst Frank Gens will show how the explosion in "cloud services" is transforming the enterprise IT marketplace and opening up fresh new opportunities for success today and in the decade ahead.

The closing keynote address will be delivered by Nicholas Carr, best-selling author of Does IT Matter? and most recently, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google. In his presentation, Carr will look at lessons learned from the rise of centralized utilities in the past, the flaws of traditional IT strategies, and the new wave of cloud computing services and providers. He will offer practical advice for how to capitalize on the cloud today, how to prepare for greater changes down the road, and how to avoid being led astray by the hype.

In addition to the general session presentations outlined above, Directions 2009 will feature 24 topical briefing sessions spread across eight tracks, plus three breakfast briefings and five special interest lunch sessions. Each session will feature IDC analysts offering the latest market intelligence and advice based on IDC's worldwide research. In addition, there will numerous opportunities to interact with IDC analysts in topic-driven lunch roundtables and coffee chats as well as private one-to-one meetings.

IDC’s annual Directions conferences have earned the reputation of being among the most important industry events of the year, drawing thousands of IT suppliers, professionals, and executive decision-makers worldwide. In addition to the two U.S. conferences, IDC hosts regional Directions conferences throughout Asia/Pacific, Europe and Latin America.

For additional information or to register for IDC Directions 2009: ICT at a Watershed: New Risks, Rules and Opportunities, please visit www.idc.com/directions09. Registration is also available by telephone at 800-605-5849 or 603-284-9201.

Complimentary press passes to Directions 2009 are available to qualified members of the media. To request a pass, please contact IDC’s public relations team at 508-935-4200 or press@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 45 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

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