Worldwide IT spend will hit $2.8tn by 2019, driven by an increasing use of software tools that improve business operations, especially within medium-to-large organisations, according to analyst house IDC.
The firm provided the figures in its latest semi-annual IT spending guide, which predicts North America will remain the dominant spender on IT, passing the $1tn mark by 2017. Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EMEA) will be second, followed by Asia Pacific and then Latin America.
By business size the bulk of spending, 40 percent, will come from very large businesses of more than 1,000 employees, while very small businesses, of between one and nine employees, will account for 25 percent of spend.
However, it is medium-sized businesses of between 100 and 499 employees and large businesses of between 500 and 999 employees who will see their spend on IT increase the most, at 4.4 and 4.8 percent respectively.
The biggest growth in spending will be on software, which expected to rise by 6.7 percent over the next three years. This increased spending will come chiefly from healthcare and financial services firms.
Much of this money will be spent on tools that "facilitate enterprise and IT operations, such as enterprise resource management and operations and manufacturing applications", IDC said.
V3 has heard from several notable firms embarking on such strategies over the past few months, such as the Trainline focusing on data analytics, and pharmaceutical giant AztraZeneca using Salesforce Chatter to improve collaboration.
Despite this growth in software spending, it is hardware that will still account for the bulk of IT spend, with devices and infrastructure such as smartphones, servers and telecoms kit accounting for 40 percent of investment.
However, this will grow at rates slower than the overall market.
Stephen Minton, vice president for customer insights and analysis at IDC, said while growth is on the cards the ongoing economic uncertainty means IT vendors must work hard to identify potential new markets.
"Recent sluggishness in China has caused severe disruption for emerging markets, while the collapse in oil prices continues to challenge energy producers, and stock market volatility poses new questions for investment firms,” he said.
“In many industries, business leaders will turn to IT solutions, including data analytics and infrastructure optimisation, to help them navigate the stormy economic waters.
“For IT vendors, the need is greater than ever for a detailed approach to targeting pockets of growth and opportunity amidst this volatile economy."
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