Global IT spending to grow 6% in 2012 despite economic uncertainty

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Strong performance in software, storage, enterprise network and mobile device markets has offset weaker trends in PCs, servers, peripherals and telecom provider equipment. However, the strength of the US dollar in the first half of 2012 means that IT spending in dollar terms is on course for growth of just 4 percent this year, a significant downturn for US-based tech vendors from the US dollar growth rate of 10.5 percent in 2011. Including telecom services, total ICT spending will increase by 5 percent this year in constant currency to $3.6 trillion (growth of 2.5 percent in US dollars). ?In spite of economic uncertainty, which continues to inhibit enterprise investment in some tech segments, the continuing demand for tablets, smartphones, storage capacity and network -performance improvements actually outperformed expectations in the first half of the year,? said Stephen Minton, vice president in IDC?s Global Technology and Industry Research Organization. ?Software spending has been robust, even in regions where economic trends have been weakest, as businesses turn to software tools and applications as a means of implementing cost-reduction strategies.? Key trends in the worldwide IT market so far in 2012 include:

? US IT spending remains on course for weaker performance than 2011 with growth of 5.9 percent (down from 8.5 percent last year); the launch of Windows 8 in Q4 should help to drive a meaningful recovery in the PC market next year.

? While Western Europe remains weak overall due to the slow economy, software growth in Northern Europe was robust, and mobile device shipments (smartphones and tablets) have remained on course; excluding mobile devices, however, Europe is on course for just 1 percent growth in constant currency (a -4.5 percent decline in US dollars)

? The recovery in Japan has lost some momentum, with IT growth in constant currency now on course for an increase of just 2 percent this year before flat lining again in 2013

? Growth in emerging markets is still relatively strong,; in China, where the manufacturing sector has been impacted by slowing exports to Europe, IT spending is now on course for 14 percent growth this year in constant currency (down from 25 percent growth in 2011), with PC spending on course for growth of just 7 percent after a weaker-than-expected first half (down from 19 percent growth in 2011)

? Strong growth is still expected in India (14 percent), Brazil (14 percent), Russia (11 percent) and South Africa (8 percent)

? Overall Worldwide IT spending is now expected to grow by 6 percent in 2013 to $2.1 trillion (ICT spending including telecom services will increase by 5 percent next year to $3.8 trillion)

?While this is a tough year for many IT vendors, the overall performance of the industry has been healthier than many expected in the first half of this year,? said Minton. ?In particular, the strength of software spending seems to prove that many enterprises have unlocked significant productivity and efficiency improvements. If the economy avoids downside scenarios in the second half of the year, a PC upgrade cycle in 2013 should help to maintain this momentum.?]]>

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