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IT spending will rise 4.2% in 2013: Gartner

Raises its overall projection, but lowers estimate for devices including tablets

By Jason Stamper

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2013, a 4.2% increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner.

The 2013 outlook for IT spending growth in US dollars has been revised upward from 3.8 per cent in the 3Q12 forecast.

Gartner analysts said much of this spending increase is the result of projected gains in the value of foreign currencies versus the dollar. When measured in constant dollars, 2013 spending growth is forecast to be 3.9%.

"Uncertainties surrounding prospects for an upturn in global economic growth are the major retardants to IT growth," said Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner. "This uncertainty has caused the pessimistic business and consumer sentiment throughout the world. However, much of this uncertainty is nearing resolution, and as it does, we look for accelerated spending growth in 2013 compared to 2012."

The Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast tracks and projects spending across the hardware, software, IT services and telecom markets.

Worldwide devices spending which includes PCs, tablets, mobile phones and printers, is forecast to reach $666bn in 2013, up 6.3% from 2012. However, this is a significant reduction in the outlook for 2013 compared with Gartner’s previous forecast of $706bn in worldwide devices and 7.9% growth.

"The tablet market has seen greater price competition from android devices as well as smaller, low-priced devices in emerging markets," Mr Gordon said. "It is ultimately this shift toward relatively lower-priced tablets that lowers our average selling prices forecast for 2012 through 2016, which in turn is responsible for slowing device spending growth in general, and PC and tablet spending growth in particular."

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Worldwide enterprise software spending is forecast to total $296bn in 2013, a 6.4% increase from 2012. The global telecom services market continues to be the largest IT spending market. Gartner analysts predict that growth will be predominately flat over the next several years as revenue from mobile data services compensates for the declines in total spending for both the fixed and mobile voice services markets. By 2016, Gartner forecasts that mobile data will represent 33% of the total telecom services market, up from 22 per cent in 2012.

More detailed analysis on the outlook for the IT industry will be presented in the webinar "Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast, 4Q12 Update – 2013 The Year Ahead." The complimentary webinar will be hosted by Gartner on 8 January at 6:00pm UK time. During the webinar, Gartner analysts will outline IT spending expectations for 2013. Register for the webinar here.

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