Global IT spend to hit $3.7 trillion in 2018: Gartner

The methodology relies on analysis of sales by thousands of vendors across the entire range of IT products and services

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Global IT spend to hit $3.7 trillion in 2018: Gartner (Shutterstock)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  January 19, 2018

Gartner has predicted that global IT spend will hit $3.7trillion in 2018, an increase of 4.5% from 2017.

The research house noted that enterprise software continues to show strong growth as spend is expected to grow 9.5% this year and a further 8.4% in 2019, reaching $421bn. Furthermore it is expected that enterprise application software in 2018 will see more spend with budget shifting to software-as-a-service (SaaS).

The devices segment is predicted to increase by 5.6% in 2018 as end-user spending on mobile phones will rise marginally as average selling prices continue to creep upward even as unit sales are forecast to be lower. However PC sales are expected to remain flat, but Windows 10 migration will drive positive growth.

"Global IT spending growth began to turn around in 2017, with continued growth expected over the next few years. However, uncertainty looms as organisations 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."

"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," added Lovelock. "That business value is attributable to using AI to, for example, drive efficiency gains, create insights that personalise 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," Lovelock concluded.

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