Worldwide IT spending will grow by 5.3% to $3.4trn in 2010 as consumers and businesses buy more IT hardware, according to Gartner.
The analyst firm has revised its IT spending forecasts upwards following strong sales at the end of last year and evidence of an improving economy.
But the growth figures are less impressive than they first appear. Nearly 4% of the growth comes from a projected decline in the value of the dollar, leaving 1.6% net growth in spending in 2010 after a 1.4% fall in spending in 2009.
"The big change for this quarter is we have revised significantly upward our expectations for the hardware sector. Spending has improved significantly, driven primarily by consumer spending on mobile PCs. But not only in the consumer space. We are also seeing some improvement in the enterprise space," said Richard Gordon, research vice-president at Gartner.
Garter forecasts that hardware sales will grow by 5.7% to reach $353bn in 2010. Although enterprise hardware spending will grow, it will remain below its 2008 levels until 2014.
Spending on PCs will contribute 1% of the growth in hardware sales as businesses begin to migrate to Windows 7 towards the end of the year.
IT departments are expected to step up their spending on storage, says Gartner. They will continue to invest in low-end servers, but in the longer term virtualisation, consolidation and cloud computing will reduce server demand.
"Computing hardware suffered the steepest spending decline," said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. "However, it is forecast to enjoy the strongest rebound in 2010."
Gartner predicts that spending on software will grow 5.1% on 2009, to $232bn in 2010. Demand for IT infrastructure will also grow rapidly, with demand for virtualisation, security, data integration and business intelligence expected to increase.
Web conferencing, team collaboration and enterprise content management will grow at double-digit rates, in the face of growing competition from social networking and content, the analyst firm says.
Spending on IT services will grow by 5.7% in 2010 to $821bn. Outsourcing grew in 2009 and growth will spread to consulting and systems integration in 2010, Gartner predicts.
Worldwide telecoms spending will grow to $2trn in 2010, up 5.1% from 2009.
Mobile devices' share of the market will grow from 11% to 14%.
Spending on enterprise network services will grow 2% in 2010, but the growth masks declines in Europe and other mature markets, says Gartner.
"Longer term, the global enterprise network services market is expected to grow modestly, largely on the back of growth in internet services," said analyst Peter Kjeldsen. "Ethernet services will also grow significantly, albeit at the expense of legacy services and multiprotocol label switching."