Global outlook slightly better than expected as budgets ease and mobile and cloud markets grow
Worldwide spending in IT is set to increase by 4.2 percent this year as cloud and mobile technologies push growth globally, according to the latest figures from Gartner.
Around $3.7 trillion (£2.28 tn) is forecast to be spent this year with enterprise software and devices showing the largest increases of 6.4 percent and 6.3 percent respectively.
Modest EMEA growth
In Europe, figures released at the end of last year by Gartner showed that spending in EMEA would only grow by 1.4 percent in 2013 to reach $1.54 trillion (£954bn). Again, growth in the region will be mainly driven by software and devices.
Gartner estimated that spending on mobile in EMEA would amount to $136 billion (£83.7bn) in 2012, reaching $188 billion (£116bn) in 2016. In Western Europe, both consumers and businesses are adding tablets to their portfolio of mobile devices – increasing the total mobile device market growth by eight percent in 2012.
This contrasts with a decline of five percent in the mobile PC market in Western Europe. In Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa, mobile phone shipments will dominate the market, with tablet adoption increasing through to 2016.
Worldwide devices spending, which includes PCs, tablets, mobile phones and printers, is forecast to reach $666 (£410bn) billion in 2013, up 6.3 percent from 2012. But Gartner said this was a significant reduction in the outlook for 2013 compared with Gartner’s previous forecast of $706 billion (£434bn) in worldwide devices and 7.9 percent growth.
The long-term forecast for worldwide spending on devices has been reduced as well, with growth from 2012 through 2016 now expected to average 4.5 percent annually in current US dollars, down from 6.4 percent, and 5.1 percent annually in constant dollars, down from 7.4 percent.
Shift in balance
The analyst firm said these reductions reflect a sharp reduction in the forecast growth in spending on PCs and tablets that is “only partially offset by marginal increases in forecast growth in spending on mobile phones and printers”.
“Uncertainties surrounding prospects for an upturn in global economic growth are the major retardants to IT growth,” said Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner. “This uncertainty has caused pessimistic business and consumer sentiment throughout the world. However, much of this uncertainty is nearing resolution, and as it does, we look for accelerated spending growth in 2013 compared to 2012.”
Gordon said that the tablet market has seen greater price competition from android devices as well as smaller, low-priced devices in emerging markets.
“It is ultimately this shift toward relatively lower-priced tablets that lowers our average selling prices forecast for 2012 through 2016, which in turn is responsible for slowing device spending growth in general, and PC and tablet spending growth in particular,” said Gordon.
Worldwide enterprise software spending is forecast to total $296 billion (£bn) in 2013, a 6.4 percent increase from 2012. Key markets such as security, storage management and customer relationship management will drive this segment.