Gartner forecasted 3.2% growth in global IT spend in 2019, with turnover hitting $3.8 trillion. Growth will be driven by Enterprise Software (up 8.5% this year and 8.2% next year) and IT Services (up 4.7% this year and 4.8% next year). Slower growth segments include Devices (1.6% growth in 2019), Communications Services (up 1.3% in 2019), and Data Center Systems (growing in 2019 but retreating in 2020).
“Despite uncertainty fueled by recession rumors, Brexit, and trade wars and tariffs, the likely scenario for IT spending in 2019 is growth,” said John-David Lovelock, research VP at Gartner. “However, there are a lot of dynamic changes happening in regards to which segments will be driving growth in the future. Spending is moving from saturated segments such as mobile phones, PCs and on-premises data center infrastructure to cloud services and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. IoT devices, in particular, are starting to pick up the slack from devices. Where the devices segment is saturated, IoT is not.”
“IT is no longer just a platform that enables organizations to run their business on. It is becoming the engine that moves the business. As digital business and digital business ecosystems move forward, IT will be the thing that binds the business together.”David Lovelock, Gartner Research VP
The shift to the cloud and SaaS will continue to benefit Enterprise Software spend with global expenditures hitting $466 billion in 2020.
“Cloud shift is not just about cloud. As organizations pursue new IT architectures and operating philosophies, they put in place a foundation for new opportunities in digital business, including next-generation IT solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT),” said VP Ed Anderson earlier this year. “Organizations embracing dynamic, cloud-based operating models position themselves for cost optimization and increased competitiveness.”
Lovelock warned that companies are failing to upskill their internal staff quickly enough to support newer technologies such as IoT, AI, machine learning, data science, APIs and services platform design. Gartner was concerned that “nearly half” of the IT workforce is in “urgent need” of upskilling to “support their digital business initiatives.” The risk for businesses is that emerging technologies “are changing faster than we’ve ever seen before.”