Worldwide IT spending is projected to total US$3.7 trillion in 2013, a 2% increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). Last quarter, the research group's forecast for 2013 IT spending growth in U.S. dollars was 4.1%.
The 2.1 percentage point reduction mainly reflects the impact of recent fluctuations in U.S. dollar exchange rates; growth in constant currency is forecast at 3.5 percent for 2013, down only slightly from last quarter. For more than a decade, global IT and business executives have been using these highly anticipated quarterly reports to recognize market opportunities and challenges, and base their critical business decisions on proven methodologies rather than guesswork.
"Exchange rate movements, and a reduction in our 2013 forecast for devices, account for the bulk of the downward revision of the 2013 growth," says Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner. "Regionally, 2013 constant-currency spending growth in most regions has been lowered. However, Western Europe's constant-currency growth has been inched up slightly as strategic IT initiatives in the region will continue despite a poor economic outlook."
The forecast for spending on devices in 2013 has been revised down from 7.9% growth in Gartner's previous forecast to 2.8%. The decline in PC sales, recorded in the first quarter of 2013, continued into the second quarter with little recovery expected during the second half of 2013.
While new devices are set to hit the market in the second half of 2013, they will fail to compensate for the underlying weakness of the traditional PC market. The outlook for tablet revenue for 2013 is for growth of 2.8%, while mobile phone revenue is projected to increase 7.4% this year.
Enterprise software spending is on pace to grow 6.4% in 2013. Growth expectations for customer relationship management (CRM) have been raised to reflect expanded coverage into e-commerce, social and mobile, according to Gartner. Expectations for digital content creation and operating systems have been reduced as software as a service (SaaS) and changing device demands impact traditional models and markets.
Telecom services spending is forecast to grow 0.9% in 2013, notes Gartner. Fixed broadband is showing slightly higher than anticipated growth. The impact of voice substitution is mixed as it is moving faster in the consumer sector, but slightly slower in the enterprise market.