Chin up. 2019's been tough on IT spending – but next year will be great, Gartner says so

Hey, growth is still growth

Person crossing their fingers in an office

Gartner analysts at its annual IT Symposium/Xpo shindig in Florida reckon IT spending is on the way up next year, despite dire predictions for the rest of this year.

They reckon overall sales will be up 0.4 per cent for 2019 compared to 2018, the lowest growth forecast so far. But for 2020, Gartner believes growth of 3.7 per cent is on the cards, mainly thanks to enterprise software spending.

It credits spending on security, and especially compliance and privacy laws, for driving spending for products to help companies keep on the right side of the law.

"The slowdown in IT spending in 2019 is not expected to stretch as far into 2020 despite concerns over a recession and companies cutting back on discretionary IT spending," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner.

Lovelock added that an increasingly complex regulatory world, with additional tariffs, multiple and conflicting privacy laws, and greater threats from hackers, has all pushed 2019's security spending up over 10 per cent and cloud security spending up 41.2 per cent.

Lovelock said the effects of Trump's trade war had not been felt yet but IT spending in China was expected to rise just 0.1 per cent, versus 3.5 per cent in the US this year.

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"Should tariffs extend to devices like PCs and mobile phones, we will likely see manufacturers switch supply routes to minimize costs and have their technology made outside of China," he said.

The figures predict the devices segment to shift from a 5.3 per cent fall in spending in 2019 to 1.2 per cent growth in 2020, falling back to 0.4 per cent in 2021. Spending on data centre systems will turn a 2.5 per cent drop this year into 2.6 growth in spending in 2020, dropping back to 1 per cent in 2021.

Enterprise software is the biggest winner with 8.8 per cent growth this year, rising to 10.9 per cent in 2020 and 10.5 per cent 2021.

The bigger picture, Gartner believes, is the rest of the world catching up with US spending on cloud technology. The UK is second to the US on cloud spending, although China is showing the highest growth in cloud spending – but it will not reach US levels by 2023. ®

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