Worldwide IT spending is projected to reach $3.8 trillion in 2021, an increase of four per cent from this year, according to a forecast by Gartner on Wednesday.
IT spending in 2020 is expected to total $3.6 trillion, down 5.4 per cent from 2019.
“In the 25 years that Gartner has been forecasting IT spending, never has there been a market with this much volatility,” said John-David Lovelock, Research Vice President at Gartner.
“While there have been unique stressors imposed on all industries as the ongoing pandemic unfolds, the enterprises that were already more digital going into the crisis are doing better and will continue to thrive going into 2021.”
Enterprise software is expected to have the strongest rebound in 2021 – 7.2 per cent due to the acceleration of digitalisation efforts by enterprises supporting a remote workforce, delivering virtual services such as distance learning or telehealth, and leveraging hyperautomation to ensure pandemic-driven demands are met.
Spending on data centre systems will experience the second highest of growth of 5.2 per cent in 2021 as hyperscalers accelerate global data center build out and regular organisations resume data centre expansion plans and allow staff to be physically back onsite.
Despite the increase in cloud activity in 2020 as organisations shifted to a remote-work-first environment, enterprise cloud spending — which falls into multiple categories — will not be reflected in vendors’ revenue until 2021.
“The spending slowdown that took place from roughly April through August of this year, coupled with cloud service providers’ ‘try before you buy’ programmes, is shifting cloud revenue out of 2020,” said Lovelock.
“Cloud had a proof point this year — it worked throughout the pandemic, it scaled up and it scaled down. This proof point will allow for accelerated penetration of cloud through 2022.”
Analysts discussed the outlook for the global IT market during the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2020 Americas which is being held virtually from October 19-22.