Gartner Says Global IT Spending to Grow 1.1 Percent in 2019

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.79 trillion in 2019, an increase of 1.1 percent from 2018, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc.

“Currency headwinds fueled by the strengthening U.S. dollar have caused us to revise our 2019 IT spending forecast down from the previous quarter,” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “Through the remainder of 2019, the U.S. dollar is expected to trend stronger, while enduring tremendous volatility due to uncertain economic and political environments and trade wars.

“In 2019, technology product managers will have to get more strategic with their portfolio mix by balancing products and services that will post growth in 2019 with those larger markets that will trend flat to down,” said Mr. Lovelock. “Successful product managers in 2020 will have had a long-term view to the changes made in 2019.”

The data center systems segment will experience the largest decline in 2019 with a decrease of 2.8 percent (see Table 1). This is mainly due to expected lower average selling prices (ASPs) in the server market driven by adjustments in the pattern of expected component costs.

The shift of enterprise IT spending from traditional (noncloud) offerings to new, cloud-based alternatives is continuing to drive growth in the enterprise software market. In 2019, the market is forecast to reach $427 billion, up 7.1 percent from $399 billion in 2018. The largest cloud shift has so far occurred in application software. However, Gartner expects increased growth for the infrastructure software segment in the near-term, particularly in integration platform as a service (iPaaS) and application platform as a service (aPaaS).

Table 1. Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Billions of U.S. Dollars)

  2018

Spending

2018

Growth (%)

2019

Spending

2019 Growth (%) 2020 Spending 2020 Growth (%)
Data Center Systems 210 15.5 204 -2.8 207 1.7
Enterprise Software 399 9.3 427 7.1 462 8.2
Devices 667 0.3 655 -1.9 677 3.5
IT Services 982 5.5 1,016 3.5 1,065 4.8
Communications Services 1,489 2.1 1,487 -0.1 1,513 1.7
Overall IT 3,747 4.0 3,790 1.1 3,925 3.6

Source: Gartner (April 2019)

“The choices CIOs make about technology investments are essential to the success of digital business. Disruptive emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), will reshape business models as well as the economics of public- and private-sector enterprises. AI is having a major effect on IT spending, although its role is often misunderstood,” said Mr. Lovelock. “AI is not a product, it is really a set of techniques or a computer engineering discipline. As such, AI is being embedded in many existing products and services, as well as being central to new development efforts in every industry. Gartner’s AI business value forecast predicts that organizations will receive $1.9 trillion worth of benefit from the use of AI this year alone.”

More detailed analysis on the outlook for the IT industry is available in the complimentary webinar “IT Spending Forecast, 1Q19 Update: AI — Use it, Build it or Sell it.”

Gartner’s IT spending forecast methodology relies heavily on rigorous analysis of sales by thousands of vendors across the entire range of IT products and services. Gartner uses primary research techniques, complemented by secondary research sources, to build a comprehensive database of market size data on which to base its forecast.

The Gartner quarterly IT spending forecast delivers a unique perspective on IT spending across the hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications segments. These reports help Gartner clients understand market opportunities and challenges. The most recent IT spending forecast research is available to Gartner clients in “Gartner Market Databook, 1Q19 Update.” This quarterly IT Spending Forecast page includes links to the latest IT spending reports, webinars, blog posts and press releases.

Mr. Lovelock will provide further analysis on the key drivers of the IT market at the Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference taking place June 3-5 in San Diego, CA and June 12-13 in London. The conference is the premier event for technology providers to learn about the latest trends and tools, innovation predictions, positioning and thought leadership.

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