IT spending increased by 5pc in 2011, despite the worsening economic situation in Western Europe and volatility in other regions, the IDC Worldwide Black Book suggests.
Strongest growth in 2011 came from smartphones (+46pc), software (+6pc) and disk storage systems (+6pc).
Emerging markets continued to lead the way, with tech spending in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) revealing another year of double-digit growth, and despite the impact of the hard disk drive shortage on PC markets, strong demand for mobile devices and software across most regions finished the year on a positive note.
IDC projects another year of 5pc growth for worldwide IT spending in 2012. Hardware and software spending are each forecast to increase by 6pc, with 4pc growth in IT services.
In 2011, businesses continued to invest in infrastructure upgrades, new software applications and mobile devices (including tablets).
These positive trends are expected to continue in 2012, when enterprise spending on network equipment will also accelerate, as many organisations invest in network upgrades to cope with increasing amounts of digital information, which will ensure another positive year for the storage market. By the end of 2012, the PC industry will also return to positive growth.
“There are risks to the outlook for 2012, mainly related to macroeconomic weakness in Europe, where IT spending is still weak,” said Stephen Minton, vice-president of IDC’s Global Technology and Industry Research Organization.
“In a downside scenario, things could get much uglier in Europe and have a ripple effect through other regions. But leading indicators in the US have improved in recent months, and emerging markets show no signs of a slowdown yet.”
The macroeconomic crisis in Europe has already had a severe impact on IT spending in that region. Overall IT investment was flat in 2011, with declines in spending on PCs, servers, storage, peripherals and enterprise network equipment. The recovery in Europe will be a long haul, with less than 1pc growth this year and 3pc in 2013, the IDC reported.