Tech Market to Fully Rebound in 2014: Forrester

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2013-01-04

Global technology spending is expected to rise by 5.4 percent worldwide in 2013 before recovering more fully in 2014, according to the latest report from Forrester Research, with the United States growing 7.5 percent this year.

In Latin America and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, tech buying will increase by 9 percent over the next two years, although growth in Western Europe is expected to be minimal as the zone struggles to recover from economic turmoil and multiple recessions across EU member states.

Mobility, cloud computing and smart computing are transforming the market as businesses look to new technologies to stay competitive, the report noted, although one product category that continues to stall is computer hardware, with zero growth in total in 2012, and server vendors posting a 4 percent decline.

Weakness in the hardware market is expected to persist in 2013, with purchases of both servers and storage declining and peripherals slowing to 3 percent. However, PC hardware is expected to rise thanks to the popularity of tablet devices.

“Global corporate spending on Wintel PCs and tablets was down by 4 percent in 2012 and will be flat in 2013 as firms slowly replace their old Windows PCs with Windows 8 devices,” the report said. “Finally, in 2014, increased PC demand and improved Windows 8 devices will lead to a strong 8 percent increase of these products, but that growth will still be less than the double-digit growth for Linux, Android, and Apple products.”

In software, business intelligence and analytics apps are expected to be the hot products, along with smart process applications for collaborative business processes. The latter, which are primarily sold on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis, will help SaaS subscription revenues grow two to three times faster than combined license-and-maintenance software.

In computer equipment, Apple tablets and Mac PCs will continue to take share from Windows PCs, with the introduction of Windows 8 PCs and tablets helping Microsoft to end the decline of 2012 but not bringing much growth until 2014. Forrester estimated that Apple will sell $7 billion of Macs and $11 billion of iPads to the corporate market in 2013, and $8 billion worth of Mac computers and $13 billion worth of iPads in 2014.

“We also assumed that the European economies would remain weak in 2013 before starting to recover in 2014, that Japan's economy would slip back into no-growth territory, and that China's economy and those in other emerging markets would pick up after slowing in 2012,” Forrester analyst Andrew Bartels wrote in a blog post. “Against that economic backdrop, we think that the global tech market will do a bit better in 2013 than it did in 2012, and that it will do even better in 2014.”

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