Global IT spending set for major rise in 2018

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Global spending on IT is set for a significant increase in 2018 as confidence returns to the industry, new figures have predicted.

The latest forecasts from Gartner predict a 4.5 per cent rise in IT spending across the world in 2018, bringing total spending up to $3.7 trillion.

The rise is fuelled mostly by enterprise software, where spending is projected to grow 9.5 per cent this year, and another 8.4 per cent next year, bringing total spending up to $421 billion. The bulk of this cash will go towards SaaS solutions, including financial management systems, human capital management and analytic apps.

After seeing growth for the first time in 2017 after two years, the devices segment is expected to continue on the same trajectory, growing 5.6 per cent in 2018. Spending on mobile phones will rise “marginally”, despite the recent release of Apple's iPhone X, while PC sales will stay the same.

"Global IT spending growth began 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, and progression from big data to algorithms to machine learning to artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to be main drivers of growth."

“Looking at some of the key areas driving spending over the next few years, Gartner forecasts $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 Mr 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."

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