Global IT spending to increase in 2013 despite slower device growth

By January 07, 2013
graph representing growth, with the dollar symbol in front

Total worldwide IT spending has been bumped up to higher growth expectations in 2013. While device growth may not be quite as strong as general IT performance, other industry spending makes up for less activity with PCs and tablets.

IT growth has been slowed by recent economic uncertainties, a climate that has had an effect on global business and consumer sentiment. But according to Richard Gordon, managing vice president at IT research and consulting firm Gartner, spending may increase even more than initially projected. “[Much] of this uncertainty is nearing resolution, and as it does, we look for accelerated spending growth in 2013 compared to 2012." Global IT spending in 2012 reached $3.6 trillion, and the 2013 Gartner IT Spending forecast predicts a 4.2 percent increase to $3.7 trillion in 2013, a revision from their original 3.8 percent increase forecast.

A reduction in PC and tablet growth

Worldwide IT spending may experience some healthy growth in the coming years, but different subcategories of spending fare quite differently within the industry that Gartner analyzed for the forecast. While the general forecast was updated to increase growth, device spending experienced the opposite. For 2013 and long term predictions, device spending was lowered - numbers for 2013 saw a change from 7.9 percent to 6.3 percent growth, or from an estimated $706 billion to $666 billion. This adaption reflects a reduction in PC and tablet growth that will only partially be offset by mobile and printer purchasing.

Other IT has healthy growth expectations, such as enterprise software

Not only will there be fewer units sold than originally thought, the shifting price points on maturing device categories will also have an effect on the size of the device industry. "The tablet market has seen greater price competition from android devices as well as smaller, low-priced devices in emerging markets," Mr. Gordon said. "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." In contrast, the highest growth subcategory of the IT spending forecast is Enterprise Software at 6.4 percent to $296 billion in 2013.

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