IDC: IT Growth Shifts to Software, Cloud Services, Away From PCs, Servers

Global IT spending is on track for growth of 6% in 2012, slightly lower than 2011's 7% pace, IDC reports. Software, storage, enterprise network and mobile device market segments are all performing strongly, offsetting weaker performance in PCs, servers, peripherals and telecom provider equipment, as well as broader macroeconomic weakness, IDC states in a press release.

Factoring in telecom services, total ICT spending will increase 5% in constant currency terms in 2012 to $2.6 trillion-- 2.5% growth in U.S. dollar terms.

 "In spite of economic uncertainty, which continues to inhibit enterprise investment in some tech segments, the continuing demand for tablets, smartphones, storage capacity, and network performance improvements actually outperformed expectations in the first half of the year," said Stephen Minton, vice president in IDC's Global Technology and Industry Research Group. "Software spending has been robust, even in regions where economic trends have been weakest, as businesses turn to software tools and applications as a means of implementing cost-reduction strategies."

IDC analysts have identified some key trends in global IT spending so far this year. Included are:

  • U.S. IT spending remains on course for a weaker performance than 2011 with growth of 5.9% forecast, down from 8.5% last year. The launch of Windows 8 in the fourth quarter should help to drive a meaningful recovery in the PC market next year.
  • While Western Europe remains weak overall due to the slow economy, software growth in Northern Europe has been robust, and mobile device shipments (smartphones and tablets) have remained on course. However, Europe is on course for just 1% growth in constant currency (a decline of 4.5% in U.S. dollars) if mobile devices are excluded from the forecast.
  • The recovery in Japan has lost some momentum, with IT growth in constant currency now on course for an increase of just 2% this year before flat lining again in 2013.
  • Growth in emerging markets is still relatively strong. In China, where the manufacturing sector has been impacted by slowing exports to Europe, IT spending is now on course for 14% growth this year in constant currency (down from 25% growth in 2011). PC spending is on course for growth of just 7% after a weaker-than-expected first half (down from 19% growth in 2011).
  • Strong growth is still expected in India (14%), Brazil (14%), Russia (11%), and South Africa (8%).
  • Overall Worldwide IT spending is now expected to grow by 6% in 2013 to $2.1 trillion. Total ICT spending, including telecom services, will increase by 5% next year to $3.8 trillion.

Written by Kevin Kutcher at 11:00
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