Global IT spending is due to increase in 2011, even as hardware sales decline because of a strong growth in software and mobile devices, according to Forrester Research and Gartner.
Global IT spending is expected to grow overall in 2011,
according to two different analyst reports. However, both Gartner and Forrester
analysts said spending in the PC segment will be impacted the increasing
popularity of tablets and smartphones.
Global IT spending will grow 7.1 percent to $1.7 trillion in
2011, market research firm Forrester Research said in its latest forecast on
Jan. 10. While the 2011 global tech market may "look similar" to the 7.2
percent market growth in 2010, the project growth for 2011 is "more
impressive," Andrew Bartels, Forrester Research vice-president and principal
analyst, wrote on his blog.
IT capital investment as a whole bounced back in 2010 from
the 2008-2009 recession and most of the 2010 growth was driven in part by
deferred demand for replacement equipment, according to Bartels. In 2011,
growth will reflect "new demand for IT goods and services, not pent-up demand
from prior years," he said. The growth rate for 2010 looks good because it was
compared against weak 2009 spending, while 2011 will be "measured off a
stronger base," he said.
IT spending in 2010 also generally focused on computer
hardware, while 2011 will see an increase in companies buying software, IT
consulting and system integration services, Bartels said. Software and services
are expected to account for 44 percent of the global IT market, and close to 50
percent in the United States, according to the Forrester analysis.
Since software and services tend to be part of large
projects that take months to complete, Forrester's analysts also forecasted
that these two segments will influence strong growth in 2012.
While Forrester remained "bullish" on its forecast, Gartner
sounded a note of caution in its revised forecast, released Jan. 6. According
to Gartner, global IT spending is expected to grow 5.1 percent in 2011 to reach
$3.6 trillion. Worldwide IT spending in 2010
was $3.4 trillion, a 5.4 percent
increase from 2009, Gartner said. Gartner's estimate of total T spending is
higher than Forrester's because Forrester does not include telecommunications
services and equipment in its forecast.
"While the global economic situation is improving, the
recovery is slow and hampered by a sluggish growth outlook" in the United
States and Western Europe, said Gordon.
The 5.1 percent increase in Gartner's IT spending forecast translate
into a 0.4 percentage drop in spending when factoring in the devaluation of the
U.S. dollar, according to Richard Gordon, research vice president at Gartner.
"Lest we get over-excited, it's worth noting that much
of this rise is down to currency exchange rate fluctuations that are routinely
factored into our forecast," wrote Gordon in a blog post.
Gartner said the reduction is linked to lower overall PC
sales because of the surging popularity of tablets
and smartphones. Gartner
reduced estimates for enterprise spending on new PCs for this year, as well.
Hardware sales will reach $391.3 billion in 2011, or a 7.5 percent growth,
compared to 8.9 percent in 2010. Enterprise software sales, on the other hand,
will rise 7.5 percent to $253.7 billion in 2011, compared to 6.1 percent in
2010, according to Gartner's analysis.
Like Forrester, Gartner analysts predicted enterprise
software sales will accelerate in 2011.
The telecom equipment market is poised for the strongest
growth, with worldwide telecom equipment spending expected to grow 9.1 percent
in 2011, according to the forecast. The demand in mobile devices "more than
compensated" for the downward revisions made for the client computing spending
forecast, Gartner said.
Despite "growing concerns" about the ability of "key
emerging economies" to sustain high growth rates, investment in IT is "seen
increasingly" as an important growth strategy, Gordon said. "We are optimistic
about continued healthy spending on IT," he said.
Overall global IT spending will average 4.8 percent annual
growth from 2009 through 2014, Gartner said.