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Government IT spending set for fall in 2020

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/TechnoVectors)

The world's governments are set to slash IT spending in 2020 as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to be felt.

The latest spending forecasts from Gartner estimate that global government IT spending is expected to decline 0.6% in 2020, with an expected total of $438bn across the world.

Despite the fall, Gartner predicts that global government IT spending is still set to represent around 16% of total enterprise IT spending across all industries. This overall global total is forecast to reach $2.7 trillion in 2020, however even this is a decrease of 8% compared to the previous year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, government IT spending will be highest in North America, where it is predicted to reach $191 billion in 2020. This is followed by Western Europe ($94 billion) and Greater China ($39 billion), with digital government services, data and analytics, cybersecurity as well as citizen engagement and experience all predicted to be key spending targets for the public sector. 

In fact, Gartner says that IT services and software are set to be the only segments predicted to grow in 2020. The former will continue to be the largest IT spending segment among governments this year, while software spend is set to experience the strongest growth, with an increase of 4.5% in 2020.

“Government organisations are accelerating IT spending on digital public services, public health, social services, education, and workforce reskilling in support of individuals, families and businesses that are heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Irma Fabular, senior research director at Gartner.

“To sustain economic viability, government organisations also deployed government recovery assistance programs which assist small businesses and allow workforce reskilling.”