July 9, 2012 – Worldwide IT spending will hit $3.6 trillion this year, inching slightly higher than previous estimates with more money coming from cloud and as-a-service investments, according to Gartner Research.

The new spending estimate is 3 percent, or half a percentage point more than projections for 2012 made during the first quarter of the year. The uptick is due to “stabilized” economic concerns over European debt, a slowdown of expansion in China and a weaker-than-anticipated U.S. recovery, according to Gartner Research VP Richard Gordon. That percentage-point growth expectation is still lower than in pre-recession years, with only single-digit annual increases for some market areas like enterprise applications.

But the overall outlook is strengthened by anticipated spending on cloud computing and various as-a-service offerings. Public cloud services are expected to reach $109 billion this year, up $18 billion from 2011’s total. And the 2012 amount will nearly double to $207 billion by 2016, according to Gartner estimates. Gordon and Gartner attributed the investment in on-demand solutions and storage as an increasingly attractive means to reduce tech complexity.

"Business process as a service still accounts for the vast majority of cloud spending by enterprises, but other areas such as platform as a service, software as a service and infrastructure as a service are growing faster," said Gordon in a release with the IT market assessment.

The largest anticipated growth sector continues to be telecom equipment, jumping up 10.8 percent in 2012 from last year to $377 billion. A mix of emerging markets and increased enterprise and consumer device connectivity are leading this growth, though the telecom services side of the market continues to rank as the slowest growth IT market, according to Gartner.

Gartner will hold a Web seminar on the spending results and expectations on July 10.