Gartner predicts global IT spending will reach US$3.7 trillion in 2018

Gartner predicts global IT spending will reach US$3.7 trillion in 2018
Analyst’s research vice president says that blockchain, IoT and AI will continue to drive growth

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Research and advisory firm Gartner has predicted that worldwide IT spending will reach US$3.7 trillion in 2018, an increase of 4.5% from 2017.

“Global IT spending growth begun to turn around in 2017, with continued growth expected over the next few years. However, uncertainty looms as organisations consider the potential impacts of Brexit, currency fluctuations, and a possible global recession,” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “Despite this uncertainty, businesses will continue to invest in IT as they anticipate revenue growth, but their spending patterns will shift. Projects in digital business, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and progression from big data to algorithms to machine learning to artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to be main drivers of growth.”

According to Gartner, enterprise software continues to grow, with worldwide software spending predicted to grow by 9.5% in 2018 and 8.4% in 2019 to a total of US$421 billion.

Organisations are expected to increase spending on enterprise application software in 2018, with more of the budget being allocated to software as a service (SaaS).

The devices segment is expected to grow by 5.6% in 2018. In 2017 it experienced growth for the first time in two years with an increase of 5.7%.

PC growth is expected to remain the same in 2018, but the continued Windows 10 migration is expected to drive positive growth in Chinese, Latin American and Eastern European business markets.

“Looking at some of the key areas driving spending over the next few years, Gartner forecasts US$2.9 trillion in new business value opportunities attributable to AI by 2021, as well as the ability to recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity,” said Lovelock. “That business value is attributable to using AI to, for example, drive efficiency gains, create insights that personalise the customer experience, entice engagement and commerce, and aid in expanding revenue-generating opportunities as part of new business models driven by the insights from data.”

“Capturing the potential business value will require spending, especially when seeking the more near-term cost savings,” added Lovelock. “Spending on AI for customer experience and revenue generation will likely benefit from AI being a force multiplier — the cost to implement will be exceeded by the positive network effects and resulting increase in revenue.”

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