Global IT Spend Will Rise 4.1% To $3.8 Trillion In 2013, ‘A Calm Ocean With Turbulent Currents’, With Mobile Driving Growth

Ashesh Shah
April 2, 2013
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Gartner has just released its annual projections on worldwide IT spend over the next two years, covering sales in hardware, software, enterprise and telecoms. The overall trends continue to point up: globally we will see $3.8 trillion spent across all categories, a rise of 4.1% on 2012. That’s a sign of slight recovery on a year ago: growth in 2012 was only 2.1%. Mobile application development and enterprise services are fuelling a lot of the good news, with declines in areas of legacy technology like PCs and voice services.

Telecoms services will continue to account for the biggest proportion of IT spend, at $1.69 billion of spend, nearly 45% of the total.

But they are also a sign of how times are changing, with declines in some areas and growth in others. Specifically, fixed voice services — which not only have been commoditized through competition, but are becoming less used by consumers who opt for mobile-only contracts — will continue diminish in size. Meanwhile, mobile data services, driven by trends in smartphone and tablet usage, continue to grow. These two trends will offset each other, resulting in “roughly flat” growth over this year and the next, says Gartner.

The rise of mobile is being felt in other categories, too.

Hardware sales — noted as “devices” in Gartner’s table below — will be the fastest-growing category this year, up nearly 8% to $718 billion, or 19% of all IT spend. PC sales, however, will be flat, and printer sales are in decline — another two signs of how there is some pain and woe still to come for some companies working in legacy technologies. (The current state of play with Dell being one specific sign of that.) Gartner notes that the rise in devices is down to the impact of mobile, a result of the rise in smartphone usage, which has been so strong that Gartner actually raised its previous device forecast of 6.3% growth.

 

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