Worldwide IT spending to hit US$3.7trn this year – Gartner

4 Jan 2013

Worldwide IT spending will reach US$3.7trn in 2013, a 4.2pc increase from 2012 spending of US$3.6trn, the latest Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast suggests.

The 2013 outlook for IT spending growth has been revised upward from 3.8pc in the forecast for the third quarter of 2012.

Much of this spending increase is the result of projected gains in the value of foreign currencies versus the dollar, Gartner analysts said. When measured in constant dollars, 2013 spending growth is forecast to be 3.9pc.

“Uncertainties surrounding prospects for an upturn in global economic growth are the major retardants to IT growth,” said Richard Gordon, managing vice-president at Gartner.

“This uncertainty has caused the pessimistic business and consumer sentiment throughout the world. However, much of this uncertainty is nearing resolution, and as it does, we look for accelerated spending growth in 2013 compared to 2012.”

Worldwide devices spending, which includes PCs, tablets, mobile phones and printers, is forecast to reach US$666bn in 2013, up 6.3pc from 2012. However, this is a cut in the outlook for 2013 compared with Gartner’s previous forecast of US$706bn in worldwide devices and 7.9pc growth.

The long-term forecast for worldwide spending on devices has been reduced as well, with growth from 2012 through 2016 now expected to average 4.5pc annually in current US dollars (down from 6.4pc) and 5.1pc annually in constant dollars (down from 7.4pc).

These reductions reflect a decline in the forecast growth in spending on PCs and tablets that is only partially offset by marginal increases in forecast growth in spending on mobile phones and printers. 

“The tablet market has seen greater price competition from Android devices, as well as smaller, low-priced devices in emerging markets,” Gordon said.

“It is ultimately this shift toward relatively lower-priced tablets that lowers our average selling prices forecast for 2012 through 2016, which in turn is responsible for slowing device spending growth in general, and PC and tablet spending growth in particular.”

Table 1. Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Billions of US Dollars)

  2012 spending 2012 growth 2013 spending 2013 growth 2014 spending 2014 growth
Devices 627 2.9pc 666 6.3pc 694 4.2pc
Data Center Systems 141 2.3pc 147 4.5pc 154 4.2pc
Enterprise Software 278 3.3pc 296 6.4pc 316 6.8pc
IT Services 881 1.8pc 927 5.2pc 974 5.1pc
Telecom Services 1,661 -0.1pc 1,701 2.4pc 1,742 2.4pc
Overall IT 3,588 1.2pc 3,737 4.2pc 3,881 3.8pc

Source: Gartner (January 2013) 

Worldwide enterprise software spending is forecast to total us$296bn in 2013, a 6.4pc increase from 2012. Key markets such as security, storage management and customer relationship management will drive this segment; however, beginning in 2014, markets aligned to big data and other information management initiatives, such as enterprise content management, data integration tools, and data quality tools, will begin to see increased levels of investment. 

The global telecom services market continues to be the largest IT spending market, Gartner said. Gartner analysts predict growth will be predominately flat over the next several years as revenue from mobile data services compensates for the declines in total spending for both the fixed and mobile voice services markets. 

By 2016, Gartner forecasts mobile data will represent 33pc of the total telecom services market, up from 22pc in 2012. 

IT spending image via Shutterstock