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Global IT spending to hit $3.7tn next year, says Gartner

IT spending is taking on a different shape as organisations embark on, and accelerate, digital transformation projects

Organisations across the world will collectively spend about $3.7tn on IT products and services next year, with spending growth accelerating.

Gartner expects total spending to be 3.3% higher in 2017 than in 2016 at $3.4tn, but expects it to grow by 4.3% next year.

The fastest-growing segment of the industry is enterprise software, where increases of 8.5% and 9.4% are expected in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Next year, enterprise software spending is forecast to hit $387bn.

Communications services will see the biggest spend this year and next year, hitting $1.4tn in 2018, an rise of just under 1% from 2017.

Gartner also revealed that IT services spending will grow by 4% in 2017 and by 5.3% in 2018 to reach $980bn.

John-David Lovelock, research vice-president at Gartner, said IT spending is taking a different shape from previous years as organisations embark on, and accelerate, digital transformation. 

“The IT buying landscape is changing,” he said. “Digital business transformation is an effort to create connected platforms and new industry revenue streams.

“Organisations that are not creating new digital business models or new ways to engage constituents or customers are falling behind.”

Meanwhile, device sales are expected to increase for the first time in two years, with 5.3% growth in 2017 followed by a 5% increase next year, when sales will be worth $697bn. Gartner attributed these rises partly to increased prices for smartphones, such the latest iPhone.

In the UK, the high price of the latest feature-rich devices is slowing sales, according to research from LaptopsDirect.co.uk, which shows that nearly half (48%) of consumers are now buying second-hand mobiles, laptops and tablets rather than new ones because of high prices and features that are not yet in demand.

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