Total IT spending in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region is expected to grow by 4.8% to reach €733 billion (£509.24bn) in 2007, according to a new study by IDC.

It said growth in emerging markets is forecast to be significantly faster than in Western European countries, representing 17% of total ICT spending in 2007.

The study outlines IDC's main predictions for the coming year and forecasts single-digit growth in each of the major submarkets, including software (7.3%), hardware (6.8%), services (6.1%), and telecoms (3%).

It expected considerable activity among suppliers as they strive to hold on to their business and compete in new areas. In particular, it said: “Convergence and ‘multiplay’ strategies will be the flavour of telecom developments as vendors seek to increase customer ‘stickiness’ and that Moore's Law will continue to push developments in the hardware area, with vendors becoming increasingly successful in selling to small and medium businesses and consumers.”

The analyst firm also predicted that the services market will continue to drive towards managed services and stronger solutions selling and that infrastructure investments will drive much of the software market, where “we expect to see continued acquisition activities in the year,” it said.

From a customer perspective the main issues for 2007 are expected to be security, virtualisation, regulatory compliance, and mobility, with each theme in turn creating shifts in market direction and growth.

IDC is holding to web conference to discuss its predictions in wider detail on 26 January. Visit the IDC website for more information.