IT investments will increase in 2013 thanks to software and device spending

Gartner expects worldwide IT spending to total US$3.7 trillion

Enterprises buying new mobile devices and investing in security and storage management will give IT spending a boost in 2013.

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total US$3.7 trillion in 2013, a 4.2 percent increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, according to research firm Gartner, which is becoming a bit more optimistic about the global economy.

The company divides IT spending into five segments: devices, data center systems, enterprise software, IT services and telecom services.

All five segments will grow in 2013, but devices and enterprise software are the two segments that will see the biggest increases in spending during the next twelve months, according to Gartner.

Worldwide device spending, which includes PCs, tablets, mobile phones and printers, is expected to reach $666 billion in 2013, up 6.3 percent from last year. That compares to 2.9 percent growth in 2012, according to Gartner's data.

However, the current estimate for this year's growth is lower than Gartner had previously forecast.

"The main reason [for the lowered growth estimate] is that the shift away from the traditional PC form factors, the desktop and the laptop, toward new form factors, most notably the tablet, is happening a lot faster than we thought," said Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner.

For example, there is a growing trend in emerging markets where users are getting a tablet as their first device, and not bothering with getting a PC, according to Gordon.

Last year also saw the ascent of cheaper tablets such as the Android-based Nexus 7 from Asus and Google. That was and continues to be good news for consumers and enterprises, but also puts pressure on overall spending.

Worldwide enterprise software spending is expected to end up at $296 billion in 2013, a 6.4 percent increase from 2012. This growth will primarily be driven by security, storage management and customer relationship management, according to Gartner.

Enterprises are trying to get more value out of their IT spending with investments in supply chain and customer relationships, while at the same time trying to handle an exponential growth in the amount of data coming in, Gordon said.

Telecom services, on the other hand, will see just a 2.4 percent increase in 2013, which may not measure up to the other segments but is still better than the 0.1 percent drop it recorded last year.

Growth will be flat over the next several years as revenue from mobile data services struggles to make up for the declines in spending on fixed and mobile voice, according to Gartner.

Telecom services are by far the biggest segment of total IT spending at $1.7 trillion this year.

In 2014 spending growth will slow down somewhat with overall spending increasing by 3.8 percent.

Growth will once again be powered by investments in software, as enterprises spend more on big data and other information management initiatives, Gartner said.

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