Some economists argue that the tech industry is still suffering a hangover from its blistering 1990s pace, and that growth will eventually ratchet back up. But market-research firm IDC predicts that information-technology spending by the world’s largest companies is likely to increase just 5% a year between 2005 and 2009, down from the double-digit growth rates of the boom years.
Making money in maturing markets requires companies to compete more aggressively for market share. That can mean either buying access to new customers through acquisitions or attracting them with more compelling or cheaper products or services. Keeping prices as low as possible requires a keen eye on costs.