Don’t look now, but global spending on IT is growing again. And by growing, I don’t mean a little incremental growth here and there, but the kind of healthy, rosy-cheeked growth that should get people excited.
The good news has been proclaimed by the research house Gartner, which says in a report out today that companies — and consumers — are shaking off their previous sense of malaise and kicking their spending up a few notches across pretty much every sector of the industry. All in, they’ll spend $3.8 trillion this year, amounting to growth of 3.2 percent versus last year.
Spending in 2013 grew overall, too, but by less than one-half of one percent, and there were declines in three of the five sectors in Gartner’s survey. Spending on devices — PCs mostly, but also phones and tablets — fell the most, followed by telecom services and data center systems. Enterprise software grew healthily, as did IT services.
Now it is predicting relative booms for all five. The firm reckons that the growth spurt in enterprise software will continue and add up to $320 billion, up nearly seven percent. IT services will grow again too, hitting $964 billion, amounting to growth just shy of five percent.
Device sales will bounce back, too, though the mix on phones will shift away from what it calls “premium phones” and toward “mid-tier premium phones.” Emerging countries will tend to favor less expensive Android phones. On the PC front, consumers who buy them will stick with ultra-mobiles to replace their older notebooks.
In enterprise software, it’s all about big data, the cloud and mobile access. This year, companies will for the first time spend more on managing their data than they do on operating systems like Windows. Gartner goes so far to say that combined spending on databases, data integration tools and the like will constitute the largest portion of the enterprise software market this year.
In IT services, spending will shift away from consulting and planning projects to getting them done.
The forecast is pretty much in line with one that Gartner made late last year. One big trend it called out at that time was the Internet of Things. All those devices we use that previously never touched the network are now getting networked and sharing information: Watches, activity monitors, Wi-Fi-ready bathroom scales and the like. Oddly none of that was mentioned today.