Gartner put its expectation of global spending on data centers, software, devices and IT services at $2.03 trillion, a 5.7 percent increase from 2012’s final tally of $1.92 trillion. With telecommunications included in the forecast, spending is beefed up to $3.73 trillion, though percentage growth over last year shrinks to approximately 4.2 percent. There were a number of growth reductions from previous forecasts due to persistent economic uncertainties, but all areas are expected to rise above the “sluggish” increases witnessed in 2012, according to Gartner Analyst John-David Lovelock.
In a shift from years past, Gartner’s spending outlook segmented expectations across markets in nations – categorized as “emerging,” “emerged” and “mature” – as opposed to combining markets across geographic regions. Mature nations like the U.S., U.K. and Singapore, represent just about 12 percent of the global population, but 62 percent ($2.69 trillion, with telecom included) of the IT spending, according to Gartner’s most recent roundup in 2011. Emerging and emerged nations, which include China, Chile and New Zealand, are expected to nearly triple the percentage growth of their “matured” counterparts through 2016 with a combined 7.8 percent spike in IT spending, according to Gartner.
From last year to 2013, device spending held the largest year-over-year percentage growth, with a 6.3 percent increase in spending to $666 billion. There are big payouts for first-time buyers opting for mobile devices and tablets instead of PCs, which are expected to have fewer replacements and limited purchases across markets. Data demands continue to spark spending across a number of enterprise areas. Data center spending, while curtailed almost 1 percentage point from previous forecasts, is mapped to reach $147 billion in 2013, or 4.4 percent higher than 2012, according to Gartner. The storage sub-category of data center spending was also scaled back in expectations for this year, though spending growth will keep upward to the tune of nearly 9 percent CAGR through 2016, the research firm stated.
Gartner Analyst Ed Anderson gave special insight into cloud computing spending, which still only takes up a small portion of overall IT spending (approximately 3 percent), but is showing aggressive uptake. In particular, Infrastructure as a Service may register 47 percent year-over-year spending growth in 2013, with other cloud markets like BPaaS expanding at approximately 15 percent from last year. Gartner Analyst Ed Anderson said IaaS will have some breakout years as more SMBs and emerging nations turn to the cloud and because of the possibilities it carries for enterprises looking for standardized sourcing of compute and storage resources.
“Over the last few years in particular, we’ve seen a lot of experimentation in cloud infrastructure services but we are now reaching a tipping point in the market where the predominant cloud workloads are moving from development and testing scenarios to real production workloads,” said Anderson.
Across all IT markets assessed by Gartner, percentage growth rates are anticipated to stay about the same through 2016, with the exception of device spending, which for approximately 4-percent annual growth from 2014 to 2016. Combining spending forecasts for devices, data centers, software and IT services, Gartner foresees $2.36 trillion spent in 2016, and $8.77 trillion spent worldwide from 2013 to 2016. Adding the telecommunications market to the pot, Gartner forecasts a combined $15.82 trillion through 2016.