According to new data from the IDC research group (www.idc.com), recent volatility will gradually give way to a more positive outlook for IT spending in the second half of 2014.
With the U.S. and other mature economies mostly heading in the right direction and a significant commercial PC refresh cycle already underway, improvements in business confidence are set to drive a moderate infrastructure upgrade cycle over the next 12-18 months, while investments in software and services will continue to accelerate, says the research group.
Worldwide IT spending is now forecast to increase by 4.5% in 2014 at constant currency, or 4.1% in U.S. dollars. A significant proportion of this growth is still being driven by smartphones – IT spending excluding mobile phones will increase by just 3.1% this year in constant currency (2.8% in U.S. dollars).
Aside from smartphones, the strongest growth will come from software, including rapidly expanding markets such as data analytics, data management, and collaborative applications including enterprise social networks. The third platform pillars of Big Data, Social, Mobile and Cloud will continue to drive virtually all of the growth in IT spending, while spending on second platform technologies will remain effectively flat, says IDC.
Meanwhile, although some emerging markets remain constrained by macroeconomic and geopolitical wild cards, there is now significant pent-up demand for IT investment that will drive stronger growth next year in markets including India, Brazil, and Russia. Pent-up demand has already driven a significant rebound in both consumer and enterprise IT spending in China this year, as confidence stabilizes. While mature economies are still driving the upside in 2014, emerging markets will once again dominate in 2015, according to IDC.