Global IT spending to reach $3.7 trillion in 2018

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Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2018, an increase of 4.5 percent from 2017, according to the latest forecast by Gartner.

global IT spending 2018

“Global IT spending growth began to turn around in 2017, with continued growth expected over the next few years. However, uncertainty looms as organizations consider the potential impacts of Brexit, currency fluctuations, and a possible global recession,” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “Despite this uncertainty, businesses will continue to invest in IT as they anticipate revenue growth, but their spending patterns will shift. Projects in digital business, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and progression from big data to algorithms to machine learning to artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to be main drivers of growth.”

Enterprise software continues to exhibit strong growth, with worldwide software spending projected to grow 9.5 percent in 2018, and it will grow another 8.4 percent in 2019 to total $421 billion. Organizations are expected to increase spending on enterprise application software in 2018, with more of the budget shifting to software as a service (SaaS). The growing availability of SaaS-based solutions is encouraging new adoption and spending across many subcategories, such as financial management systems (FMS), human capital management (HCM) and analytic applications.

“Cybersecurity spending is receiving more direct attention from leadership and boards across the world. Many boards are adding cyber-knowledgeable members who are not only demanding better security but looking for real and visible metrics and not just window dressing”, Mark Ruchie, CISO at Entrust Datacard, told Help Net Security.

“The massive uptick in cyber-attacks resulting in real loss of customer confidence, regulator penalties as well as legal liabilities and reputation impact. The large and increasing reliance on IT, Cloud, IoT and industrial support systems that have moved beyond the corporate world all the way down to the end consumer. IoT reliance will continue to drive the security world by expanding a safety component to the traditional confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) components of a security program. For those who do not think safety aspects will be important — think about IoT components in cars, aircraft and other devices. Then think about who will need to secure those devices. All of this has resulted in a steady compound annual growth rate that will more than double the current investment by 2020,” Ruchie concluded.

The devices segment is expected to grow 5.6 percent in 2018. In 2017, the devices segment experienced growth for the first time in two years with an increase of 5.7 percent. End-user spending on mobile phones is expected to increase marginally as average selling prices continue to creep upward even as unit sales are forecast to be lower.

PC growth is expected to be flat in 2018 even as continued Windows 10 migration is expected to drive positive growth in the business market in China, Latin America and Eastern Europe. The impact of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X was minimal in 2017, as expected. However, iOS shipments are expected to grow 9.1 percent in 2018.

“Looking at some of the key areas driving spending over the next few years, Gartner forecasts $2.9 trillion in new business value opportunities attributable to AI by 2021, as well as the ability to recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity,” said Mr. Lovelock. “That business value is attributable to using AI to, for example, drive efficiency gains, create insights that personalize the customer experience, entice engagement and commerce, and aid in expanding revenue-generating opportunities as part of new business models driven by the insights from data.”

“Capturing the potential business value will require spending, especially when seeking the more near-term cost savings. Spending on AI for customer experience and revenue generation will likely benefit from AI being a force multiplier — the cost to implement will be exceeded by the positive network effects and resulting increase in revenue,” said Mr. Lovelock.