When Columbex International was established in 1990, like many other computer firms our business was mainly personal computers, printers and other office and computing devices. The market was constrained by the level of development of information technologies in Slovakia at that time. It was dominated by big state-owned companies, which used big hall systems (mainframes) with strongly centralised information systems.
At about that time, small private firms were just starting to form, and as the state sector underwent privatisation, new banking, finance and insurance institutions appeared. Simultaneously, new information technologies based on decentralised IS, or client-server architecture, began to arrive. That led to a great boom and expansion of the information technology market as well as to the rise of a strong competitive environment.
Currently, demand for complex solutions based on brand products is growing rapidly, especially in the banking, telecommunications and insurance industries, as well as in government institutions. However, given the weak financial health of Slovak companies, the life cycle of hardware equipment in Slovakia is usually longer than it might be in more developed economies. For this and other reasons it is often very difficult for hardware firms in Slovakia to forecast their sales for the near future, even for the coming year, as most deals are done at the end of every year when companies are trying to spend their investment budgets.
Still, given the impetus supplied by large industry customers, we should be seeing some real change in the Slovak hardware market in the near future. Among the most significant evolutions will be the development of new processors based on true 64 bit technologies for PC systems, the development of large and high performance systems for nonstop availability, the building of storage area networks based on fibre channel technologies, as well as Bluetooth technologies and thin clients.
In future columns, I will be talking about PC technologies, the implementation of ecological principles, laser printer technology and storage technologies.
Stanislav Dzurík is an IT consultant at Columbex International. Comments and questions can be sent to his email address at: email@example.com.