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Digital driving increased IT spending

Gartner is expecting global IT spending to rise and provide the channel with fresh opportunities to sell digital transformation solutions

Digital transformation is not only driving IT spending but is creating new areas for the channel to enter into as customers start to for more from suppliers.

Gartner has signalled that worldwide IT spending is expected to increase by 2.4% this year, which is a revision upwards from the 1.4% forecast made by the analyst house in Q1, to hit $3.5 trillion.

That improvement appears to be down to a combination of the dollar declining in strength against many foreign currencies and the strength of digital transformation spending.

On that front the challenge for resellers is to ensure that they can keep up with the changing demands from customers that are looking for more from suppliers.

"Digital business is having a profound effect on the way business is done and how it is supported," said John-David Lovelock, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "The impact of digital business is giving rise to new categories; for example, the convergence of "software plus services plus intellectual property."

There are a few industry specific examples, like the growth of blockchain in financial services and the embracing of IoT in the manufacturing world.

The Gartner forecasts come on the back of findings from 451 Research yesterday that indicated that the channel now needed to deliver more services as customers moved from cloud construction to consumption.

The research house argued that the channel was in the best position to deliver solutions for customers but there needed to be a move towards developing more than the tin plus standard services approach.

"There is an appetite for a wider range of bundled offerings from the managed service sector including systems integrators, VARs and others with service delivery experience," said Rory Duncan, research director for managed services and hosting at 451 Research.

Gartner is expecting enterprise software to be one of the strongest areas this year, with devices the second main category that will enjoy decent customer spending.

Enterprise software spending worldwide will climb by 7.6% this year, up from 5.3% from 2016 and customers will be looking for applications that help them exploit revenue opportunities created by a shift towards a more digital business.

"With the increased adoption of SaaS-based enterprise applications, there also comes an increase in acceptance of IT operations management (ITOM) tools that are also delivered from the cloud," said Lovelock. "These cloud-based tools allow infrastructure and operations organisations to more rapidly add functionality and adopt newer technologies to help them manage faster application release cycles."

On the devices front there should be some improvement in smart phone sales but tablets continue to decline as replacement cycles are extended.

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