The Romanian IT services market is expanding at a rapid pace, with experts expecting growth of 18.8% for 2006, just slightly lower than growth of 2005.

According to a recent study by market research firm, IDC, a combination of economic growth, large privatization deals, and rapid banking, retail, and telecommunications developments, fueled investment in IT.

The dynamic market also led to a shift in positions for top IT vendors of the country.

IBM jumped from second to first, Siveco Romania moved from third to second, and S&T Romania fell from first to third, IDC said.

IBM, Siveco, and S&T were not the only vendors to shift positions last year, said Laurentiu Popescu, branch manager, IDC Romania.

Nearly every major player rose or fell in the IT services rankings and five new IT services providers entered the market in the top 20 last year. This illustrates the fiercely competitive nature of the market and points to the fact that the debate is far from closed about who will eventually dominate the Romanian IT services market.

Hardware support and installation was the largest area in Romanian IT, the firm said, while systems integration and software support were second and third respectively.