Gartner: Global 2011 IT Spending To Reach $3.6 Trillion, Up 5.1 Percent

Researcher raises earlier worldwide IT spending outlook, points to expected IT investments amid sluggish recovery but cautions IT spending could slip owing to unpredictable global economy.

January 14, 2011

D.H. Kass

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Global IT spending is expected to reach some $3.6 trillion in 2011, a 5.1 percent bump from the $3.4 trillion recorded in 2010, according to revised data compiled by researcher Gartner Inc.

While the researcher adjusted its earlier projection of 3.5 percent growth in IT spending for 2011--pointing to a better than expected industry performance in 2010 when Gartner anticipated a 3.2 percent uptick but actual IT spending rose about 5.4 percent—it did so cautiously.

Gartner said that it has lifted its global IT spending projection owing to the central spot that technology investments occupy in business growth strategies worldwide and the recent devaluation of the U.S. dollar against other currencies, but warned that economic uncertainty could erode its sunnier outlook.

“Aided by favorable U.S. dollar exchange rates, global IT spending growth is expected to exceed 5 percent in 2010, but a similar level of growth in 2011, while forecast, is far from certain, given continued macroeconomic uncertainty," said Richard Gordon, Gartner research vice president.

Gartner expects that among technology segments, telecom will advance the farthest in 2011 at 9.1 percent growth, followed by computer hardware and enterprise software at 7.5 percent. IT services will see only 4.6 percent growth in 2011, Gartner said.

Global spending on telecom equipment grew 14 percent and computer hardware 8.9 percent in 2010 when compared to the prior year, the researcher said.

"While the global economic situation is improving, the recovery is slow and hampered by a sluggish growth outlook in the important mature economies of the U.S. and Western Europe,” Gordon said. “There are also growing concerns about the ability of key emerging economies to sustain relatively high growth rates,” he said.

“Nevertheless, as well as a fundamental enabler of cost reduction and cost optimization, investment in IT is seen increasingly as an important element in business growth strategies,” said Gordon. “As the global economy repairs itself in coming years, we are optimistic about continued healthy spending on IT," he said.

TAGS: telecom,enterprise software,IT spending,Gartner,computer hardware

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