IT spending to grow in 2012 despite economic woes: IDC

Software, storage, enterprise network and mobile device sales help save the day

Worldwide IT spending remains on course to grow by 6 per cent in 2012 despite the grim economic situation in Europe, thanks to strong software, storage, smartphone and tablet sales, according to IDC.

While 2012 has been a tough year for many IT vendors, they have done better overall than many expected in the first half of the year, IDC said.

For example, software spending has been robust, even in parts of the world where the economy has been weakest, as businesses hope software tools and applications will help them implement cost-reduction strategies.

The 6 percent growth compares to a 7 percent increase in worldwide IT spending last year. IDC expects 6 percent growth in 2013.

Software, storage, enterprise network and mobile device markets have offset weaker sales in servers, peripherals and PCs. However, the launch of Windows 8 during the fourth quarter should help the PC market recover next year, IDC said.

U.S. IT spending will grow by 5.9 percent in 2012, compared to 8.5 percent last year. However, the strength of the dollar during the first six months of the year means that IT spending in dollar terms will grow just 4 percent for the full year.

Growth in emerging markets is still relatively strong, but has also been negatively affected, according to IDC. In China, IT spending is now expected to grow by 14 percent, compared to 25 percent in 2011.

IT spending is also expected to grow by 14 percent in India and Brazil, according to IDC.

Unsurprisingly, Europe is the laggard with a measly 1 percent growth, despite a robust software market in Northern Europe, and healthy smartphone and tablet sales. Japan isn't doing much better with IT spending expected to grow by 2 percent "before flat-lining again in 2013," IDC said.

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