With the global economy showing signs of a gradual recovery, worldwide IT spending is on pace to total US$3.8 trillion this year, a 3.2 per cent increase from 2013, reports Gartner.
The Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast sees IT spending in the Asia Pacific region to reach US$759 billion this year, up 4.4 per cent from 2013, and slightly lower than 2013 growth of 4.7 per cent.
In New Zealand, total IT spending is forecast to grow 1.7 per cent to reach NZ$11.1 billion in 2014. In Australia, total IT spending is forecast to reach A$76.5 billion, an increase of 2.5 per cent over 2013. China is expected to increase its IT spend by 7 per cent, exceeding CNY 2.1 trillion.
"Globally, businesses are shaking off their malaise and returning to spending on IT to support the growth of their business," says Richard Gordon, Gartner managing vice president.
"Consumers will be purchasing many new devices in 2014; however, there is a greater substitution toward lower cost and more basic devices than we have seen in prior years."
In the enterprise software market, spending is on pace to total US$320 billion, a 6.9 per cent increase from 2013. The enterprise software market is the fastest-growing segment in 2014.
"The 'nexus of forces' (Gartner's term for the convergence of social, mobile, cloud and information) continues to drive growth across key major software markets, such as CRM, database management systems (DBMSs), data integration tools and data quality tools," says Gordon.
"In fact, organisational adoption of data management technologies to support the nexus will cause spending on DBMSs to surpass operating systems, making the former the largest enterprise software market in 2014."
IT services is forecast to total US$964 billion in 2014, up 4.6 per cent from 2013. IT services buyers are shifting spending from consulting (planning projects) to implementation (doing projects).
Gartner analysts expect steady growth in the IT services market as the economic outlook, and along with it investment sentiment, improves.
Telecom services spending is projected to grow 1.3 per cent in 2014, with spending reaching US$1.655 trillion.
Fixed voice services continue to decline from substitution effects occurring a bit faster than previously anticipated, affecting the balance of wireless-only households in important markets, such as Japan, as well as the migration of enterprise lines due to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking (the use of voice over IP (VoIP) to facilitate the connection of a private branch exchange (PBX) to the Internet).
The devices market (including PCs, ultramobiles, mobile phones and tablets) is forecast to return to growth in 2014, with worldwide spending of $689 billion, a 4.4 per cent increase from 2013.
Gartner, however, sees a continuing shift in the product mix. It says demand for highly priced premium phones is slowing, with buyers in mature countries preferring mid-tier premium phones, while those in emerging countries favouring low-end Android basic phones.
In general, consumers are choosing to buy premium ultramobiles as notebook replacements and purchasing tablets as additional devices. As market power shifts to the buyer, and key product innovations become ubiquitous, product pricing is becoming the primary differentiator, says Gartner.
The number of traditional PC users is contracting to a set of fewer, "albeit more engaged" users, says Gartner.
Data centre systems spending, meanwhile, is projected to reach $143 billion in 2014, a 2.3 per cent increase from 2013.
Gartner says cloud and mobility are the biggest demand drivers in terms of enterprise network equipment trends.
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