IT spend to hit $3.5tn in 2017, says Gartner

James Pearce
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Spend on communications will continue to fall despite rise in overall IT spend worldwide

Worldwide IT spending is set to top $3.5 trillion this year, up 1.4% on 2016, but communications spend will dip 1.4%, according to Gartner.

The biggest rise will come in the enterprise software market, which will grow by 5.5% to $332 billion in 2017, and by 7.1% to $376 billion in 2018, the analysts claim.

Communications services will see a 0.3% dip to $1.37 trillion, according to Gartner’s predictions, but will then bounce back in 2018 with a 1.3% rise to $1.39 trillion.

The IT device market, which includes mobile phones and tablets alongside PCs, printers etc. will grow 1.7% in 2017 to $645 billion globally according to the report. A key driver for this will be the growth of average prices for mobiles in emerging markets such as Asia.

IT growth has slowed, however, which Gartner said was in part due to the strength of the US dollar.

"The strong U.S. dollar has cut $67 billion out of our 2017 IT spending forecast," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "We expect these currency headwinds to be a drag on earnings of U.S.-based multinational IT vendors through 2017."

Data centres are also expected to see a small amount of growth, after a 0.1% decline in sales in 2016. Gartner predicts this market to grow by 0.3% to $171 billion in 2017, and top $173 billion in 2018.

"We are seeing a shift in who is buying servers and who they are buying them from," Lovelock added. 

"Enterprises are moving away from buying servers from the traditional vendors and instead renting server power in the cloud from companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft. This has created a reduction in spending on servers which is impacting the overall data centre system segment."