March 2, 2012 – Worldwide IT spending is expected to increase by about 6 percent in 2012 with mobile device and software investments taking on more of that industry growth over the next few years, according to an overview by researchers at IDC.

A presentation on the market forecast, entitled “State of the Market: IT Spending Review & 2012 Outlook,” was led Thursday afternoon by IDC market research group VP Stephen Minton and program manager and economist Anna Toncheva.

The global IT spending will hit around $1.7 trillion in 2012, with more than 1 percent of the total growth over 2011 expected to come from the mobile market. IDC predicts that mobile investments will lead device spending to $600,000 million by year’s end, and continue an upward march annually to $700,000 million by 2015. In those spending figures, IDC foresees increased dedications on enterprise tablets and smartphones, which is in turn anticipated to bump up overall software spending as the leading area of growth for 2012, says Minton.

Respectively, hardware, software and services sectors are expected to keep up 5-to-7-percent annual growth through 2015 from a mix of plans in emerging markets and steady spending in the U.S., IDC noted.

“Right now it’s hardware which is taking more in, and over the next five years it’ll be more software that kind of picks up the momentum as the hardware installments get a bit more saturated in some of these emerging markets,” Minton says.

Along with software, the PC segment will get a boost in 2012 from Microsoft’s next Windows release. Minton said IDC also forecasts spending on network, printer and IT services to top last year’s growth figures as “catch up” to previous investments in servers and hardware.

On the downside, storage spending will continue to slow in 2012 and server spending will drop a few percentage points from previous years, as production in that area recovers from floods in Thailand at the end of 2011. And Toncheva said some of these figures hinge either way on economic uncertainty and austerity measures in Western Europe, and “pent up” IT spending approvals since the recession.

For a replay of the presentation (available for six months), click here.