IT Spending Could Hit $2 Trillion in 2010, Says Gartner

IT spending could total more than $2 trillion in 2010, according to research firm Gartner. While the banking and financial industries are leading the way, government agencies and health care providers are also expected to boost their IT this year. However, the possibility of a "double dip" recession still looms.

The banking and financial industries, along with health care providers and large government agencies, are helping to push IT spending past the $2 trillion mark this year, according to research firm Gartner.

For 2010, Garter is predicting that IT spending will total $2.4 trillion, a 4.1 percent increase from 2009, when enterprises and small businesses pulled back on their hardware and software purchases due to the U.S. recession and the overall global economy.

"2010 will see IT spending in all major industries returning to growth, although that growth will vary by individual sector," Gartner analyst Kenneth Brant wrote in a May 18 report. However, the report did not specify if businesses and governments were spending more on IT hardware, software or services.

The latest projection from Gartner seems to validate the results coming from other studies that find the U.S. tech industry is poised for growth after a nearly two-year downturn. Research firms have found that consumer spending on electronics has increased in just the past few months, which has boosted the outlook for the semiconductor and PC vendors.

The quarterly reports that have flooded in during the past few weeks have also shown that businesses and consumers have begun buying hardware and software again. Intel, Apple, Microsoft and IBM-all tech bellwethers-reported solid results.

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On the same day Gartner posted its latest report, Hewlett-Packard reported that its second-quarter profits increased 28 percent thanks to healthy PC sales.

However, while the Gartner report recommends that IT vendors and service providers take advantage of the projected 4 percent growth in spending this year, there is the possibility the global economy could falter again, with the U.S. economy experiencing a "double-dip" recession.

"However, we recommend that they continue to promote the value of solutions that deliver -cost optimization' in 2010 and 2011, which we believe will be a persistent value for IT buyers even as markets return to growth," Brant wrote.

Of all the different vertical industries Gartner is tracking, government agencies seemed poised to spend the most on IT in 2010. This year, spending by U.S. and internal government is set to increase 6.2 percent, from $234.2 billion in 2009 to $248.7 billion in 2010.

Separately, Gartner sees local and regional government agencies increasing their spending by 4.3 percent.

The banking and financial industries are looking to increase their IT spending by about 4.6 percent this year for a projected total of $396.9 billion. Health care providers are spending a more modest $88.6 billion in 2010, a 2.9 percent increase from last year.

Other markets that are looking to increase their IT spending in 2010 include utilities, education institutes, retail, manufacturing and the communications industry.