OECD Information Technology Outlook 2006

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Information technology (IT) and broadband are major drivers of economic change, restructuring businesses, affecting skills and employment, and contributing to growth and consumer benefits. This volume describes recent market dynamics and trends in industries supplying IT goods and services and offers an overview of the globalisation of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and the rise of ICT-enabled international sourcing. It analyses the development and impact of the changing global distribution of services activities and the rise of China and India as significant suppliers of ICT-related goods and services. It also looks at the increasing importance of digital content in selected industries and how it is transforming value chains and business models. The potential of technological developments such as ubiquitous networks, location-based services, natural disaster warning systems, the participative web and the convergence of information technology with nanotechnology and biotechnology is also examined. This book includes StatLinks, URL's linking statistical graphs and tables to spreadsheets containing the underlying data.

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Worldwide, the ICT sector is expected to grow at 6% in 2006, with growth more balanced across the OECD area than at the time of the 2004 Outlook when the United States led the recovery from the slump. With improved macroeconomic performance, aggregate investment is now increasing across the OECD area and ICT is a significant and growing share of this investment. Some ICT segments are very dynamic (Internet-related investment, portable and consumer applications), with the major share of venture capital continuing to flow into ICTs. Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity is high. Overall the prospects for continuing balanced and sustained growth at a relatively high rate are good, but a return to the unsustainable annual rates of 20-30% growth of the late 1990s is unlikely.

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