Worldwide IT spending in 2012 will grow at a tepid 3.7 percent clip to just shy of $3.8 billion, less than half of 2011’s growth rate, hampered by slow global economic growth, impaired hard-disk drive production in Thailand and the eurozone crisis, according to researcher Gartner Inc.
Gartner said that global expenditures for hardware, enterprise software, IT services, and telecommunications equipment and services will grow at a slower clip in 2012 than the 4.6 percent rate the researcher previously expected.
"Faltering global economic growth, the eurozone crisis and the impact of Thailand's floods on hard-disk drive (HDD) production have all taken their toll on the outlook for IT spending," said Richard Gordon, research vice president at Gartner.
According to Gartner’s data, global spending for telecom equipment will rise faster at 6.9 percent in 2012 than any other technology sector, reaching some $475 million in total. At the other end of the spectrum, although global spending on telecom services will comprise the biggest outlay in 2012 at $1.7 billion, the segment is projected to grow only by 2.3 percent from last year.
Worldwide spending for computer hardware in 2012 will reach $424 million for a 5.1 percent increase over last year’s totals; enterprise software expenditures will total $285 million worldwide, a 6.4 percent boost from 2011’s figures; and, global spending for IT services will amount to $874 million, or a 3.1 percent bump from last year, Gartner said.
In particular, Gartner pointed to the Thailand floods for severely impacting computer and storage purchases. Thailand is a major center of hard disk drive manufacturing for finished goods and components.
"We estimate the supply of hard drives will be reduced by as much as 25 percent (and possibly more) during the next six to nine months,” said Gordon. “Rebuilding the destroyed manufacturing facilities will also take time and the effects of this will continue to ripple throughout 2012 and very likely into 2013," he said.