Enterprise IT Spending to Grow in 2013: IDC

Strong demand from the health care and the professional services industries will lead IT spending growth, the report said. 

Total enterprise spending on hardware, software and IT services is expected to grow 6 percent in 2013, to approximately $474 billion, according to research firm IDC's United States Black Book 4Q12 report.

The report, which tracks IT spending across all 15 enterprise industries, noted that IDC expects the U.S. economy to stabilize in the second half of 2013, leading to "moderately strong" IT spending growth. However, IDC researchers also pointed out the U.S economic outlook has been clouded over the last quarter due to uncertainties surrounding the fiscal cliff, contracting gross domestic product (GDP) growth, and declining international trade following reduced economic activity and the debt crisis in the Euro zone.

Specific industries expected to grow at above-average rates for the coming year include the health care sector, which is forecast to grow by more than 8 percent in 2013, due in part to the need to process and analyze increasing volumes of data from new clinical systems, such as electronic health record (EHR) platforms.

IDC's "United States Black Book: State IT Spending by Vertical Market," a quarterly analysis of the status and projected growth of the IT industry in 50 states, is segmented by 15 vertical markets as well as 15 technologies across hardware, software, and services. The report suggested spending on IT would be highest in Western and Midwestern states.

"We expect total IT spending by enterprises in Arizona, North Dakota, Utah and Texas to grow at the highest rates in the country over the next year at more than 7 percent across all industries," Natasha Menon, research analyst with IDC's Global Technology and Industry Research Organization (GTIRO), said in a statement. "This growth is being driven by a high percentage of health care, manufacturing, and professional services businesses in these states, and IT spending aligns with economic projections of employment growth in these industries."

The professional services industry is also expected to grow more than 8 percent. The report noted a high correlation between overall corporate profitability and IT spending by professional services firms, suggesting higher spending within this industry as corporate profits improve.

"Global uncertainty has subdued the willingness of firms to expand their IT budgets," Ted Dangson, GTRIO vice president, said in a statement. "Yet we've seen continued investments by companies as they prioritize the replacement of outdated technology and pursue strategic IT initiatives focused on big data and analytics, cloud computing and mobility."

The data is based on IDC's Worldwide Black Book, which provides forecasts for IT spending in 54 countries around the world. IT spending forecasts focus on 25 individual market segments across hardware, software, IT services and telecom services. The current release offers IT spending forecasts for the 2011 to 2016 period.