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Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2013, a 2 percent increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. Last quarter, Gartner's forecast for 2013 IT spending growth in U.S. dollars was 4.1 percent. 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.
The Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast is the leading indicator of major technology trends across the hardware, software, IT services and telecom markets. 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," said 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 percent growth in Gartner's previous forecast to 2.8 percent (see Table 1). 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 percent, while mobile phone revenue is projected to increase 7.4 percent this year.
Table 1. Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Billions of U.S. Dollars)
Data Center Systems
Source: Gartner (July 2013)
Enterprise software spending is on pace to grow 6.4 percent in 2013. Growth expectations for customer relationship management (CRM) have been raised to reflect expanded coverage into e-commerce, social and mobile. 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.