Spending on IT products and services is set to hit $3.7 billion this year, but some of the details within this figure give an indication of how the market is moving away from traditional solutions and embracing new technology and ways of doing business.
The statistics come from Gartner, which earlier this month released its latest Worldwide IT Spending forecast for 2013. It found overall expenditure is set to rise by two percent from last year. This is a drop from its previous estimate of a 4.2 percent growth, which the firm put down mainly to currency fluctuations that affect the value of the US dollar.
Its study covers hardware, software, services and telecoms and, while the headline figures give an impression of slow but sustained growth, it is when the details are examined more closely that the true state of many subsectors are revealed.
Spending on devices, for instance, is set to rise by 2.8 percent overall this year. But within this, Gartner found that PC sales are actually expected to drop by 7.9 percent, with the overall increase instead coming from mobile phones (growth of 9.3 percent) and tablets (38.9 percent).
IT Spending Trends Indicate Shift To Mobile
This is a clear indication of the migration to mobile devices among not only consumers, but business users. Many people now expect to be able to use their tablet to complete many, if not all, the tasks they previously required a PC for.
What this means for businesses is they’ll have to be prepared to meet these demands by offering mobile apps and implementing a bring your own device strategy that will allow workers to use their personal tablets and smartphones for work purposes, enabling them to keep in touch wherever they are.
This has also been highlighted by separate research from Forrester this week. Using a different analysis method to Gartner, its findings painted a more pessimistic picture of overall spending, with the firm forecasting total expenditure of $2.06 trillion, for a growth rate of 2.3 percent compared with last year. However, it too found that mobility is a key growth area for the industry.
Forrester revealed that software is the biggest sector within the IT market – and within this, applications are the key revenue driver. In fact, apps were the single biggest sector for spending across the entire IT industry, just ahead of systems integration services. Analyst Andrew Bartels observed: “Software is where most of the big changes in technology are taking place.”
Techcrunch commented: “While legacy, on-premise investments are ‘languishing’, those that focus on cloud-based implementations such as Software-as-a-Service and ‘smart computing’ in the form of big data analytics and mobile apps are booming.”
Communications is another area that is facing an evolution due to the development of new technology. More people are turning to VoIP tools or mobile solutions ahead of traditional landlines, as these are often cheaper and more convenient – particularly when combined with smartphones and tablets for users on the move. However, Gartner observed takeup of these voice substitution services has been quicker in the consumer market than in the enterprise sector.
Forrester also observed that spending on communications equipment will equate to $322 billion in 2013, with $128.7 billion of this going to enterprise and small and medium-sized business providers.
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