Garter, Inc. has revised downward its prediction for global IT spending for 2017, to a total of $3.5 trillion. While this represents a 2.7 percent increase from 2016, this growth rate is down from an earlier projection of 3 percent.

"2017 was poised to be a rebound year in IT spending. Some major trends have converged, including cloudblockchaindigital business and artificial intelligence. Normally, this would have pushed IT spending much higher than 2.7 percent growth," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "However, some of the political uncertainty in global markets has fostered a wait-and-see approach causing many enterprises to forestall IT investments."

The Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast looks at anticipated spending in the areas of data center systems, enterprise software, devices, IT services, communication services, and overall IT. Of those six categories, overall IT spending was the largest portion, at $3,464 billion. Data center spending was last, at $175 billion.

“Worldwide devices spending (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) is projected to remain flat in 2017 at $589 billion,” the report states. “A replacement cycle in the PC market and strong pricing and functionality of premium ultramobiles will help drive growth in 2018. Emerging markets will drive the replacement cycle for mobile phones as smartphones in these markets are used as a main computing device and replaced more regularly than in mature markets.”

The worldwide IT services market is forecast to grow 4.2 percent in 2017, the report states. “Buyer investments in digital business, intelligent automation, and services optimization and innovation continue to drive growth in the market, but buyer caution, fueled by broad economic challenges, remains a counter-balance to faster growth.”

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

 

2016
Spending

2016
Growth (%)

2017
Spending

2017
Growth (%)

2018
Spending

2018
Growth (%)

Data Center Systems

170

-0.6

175

2.6

176

1.0

Enterprise Software

333

5.9

355

6.8

380

7.0

Devices

588

-8.9

589

0.1

589

0.0

IT Services

899

3.9

938

4.2

981

4.7

Communications Services

1,384

-1.0

1,408

1.7

1,426

1.3

Overall IT

3,375

-0.6

3,464

2.7

3,553

2.6

Source: Gartner (January 2017)

"The range of spending growth from the high to low is much larger in 2017 than in past years. Normally, the economic environment causes some level of division, however, in 2017 this is compounded by the increased levels of uncertainty," said Lovelock. "The result of that uncertainty is a division between individuals and corporations that will spend more — due to opportunities arising — and those that will retract or pause IT spending."

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