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Gartner Says Global IT Spending to Reach $3.5 Trillion in 2017

Driven by growth in software and IT services revenue, worldwide IT spending is forecast to reach $3.5 trillion in 2017, up 2.9 percent from 2016 estimated spending of $3.4 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc.

The bright spot for the IT industry has been the software and IT services segments. Software spending is projected to grow 6 percent in 2016, and it will grow another 7.2 percent in 2017 to total $357 billion (see Table 1). IT services spending is on pace to grow 3.9 percent in 2016 to reach $597 billion, and increase 4.8 percent in 2017 to reach $943 billion.

Table 1. Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Billions of U.S. Dollars)

    2016 Spending   2016 Growth (%)   2017 Spending   2017 Growth (%)
Data Center Systems   173   1.3   177   2.0
Software   333   6.0   357   7.2
Devices   597   -7.5   600   0.4
IT Services   900   3.9   943   4.8
Communications Services   1,384   -1.1   1,410   1.9
Overall IT   3,387   -0.3   3,486   2.9

Source: Gartner (October 2016)

Gartner analysts are discussing the key IT and business issues that are driving the evolution of digital business this week during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo here through Thursday. There has been interest among attendees regarding the impact of the U.K.'s exit from the European Union, known as Brexit, will have on IT investment.

"The immediate impact of Brexit has caused modest growth in IT spending to turn negative for 2016," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "Without the U.K., global IT spending growth would have been modestly positive at 0.2 percent in 2016, but with the U.K. included, IT spending is expected to decrease 0.3 percent. The immediate impact of the British pound will also cause the IT spending patterns to shift as prices for IT will increase."

Companies will be monitoring negotiations closely, and there will be some changes in IT investment. For example, in financial services, analysts expect to see some countries in Europe put more investment in IT to offer a more viable option for EU countries than the U.K.

"We see software and IT services spending in Germany and France increasing, while U.K. services stay relatively flat," Mr. Lovelock said. "There are other countries, such as the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland that are also increasing their IT spend to contend as a viable alternative to banks in the U.K. We are seeing examples of many banks in talks with these countries to examine the possibility of moving their operations outside of the U.K."

With the U.S. presidential election three weeks away, Gartner analysts do not believe the pending election, or the winning candidate, will effect IT spending trends.

"We have also taken into account the U.S. presidential race, as well as a potential rate cut by the Federal Reserve. Typically, there is a slight pause in IT spending leading into the election, and then a relief in spending, subsequently. However, trends have shown that IT spending in the U.S. is not dependent on presidential leadership, so neither candidate should have a significant impact on IT spending in the near-term."

More detailed analysis on the outlook for the IT industry is available in the complimentary webinar on demand, "IT Spending Forecast, 3Q16 Update: Impacts of Brexit Not Limited to the U.K." During the webinar, Gartner analysts discuss the direct and harmful effects of Brexit is having on global IT spending.

Gartner's IT spending forecast methodology relies heavily on rigorous analysis of sales by thousands of vendors across the entire range of IT products and services. Gartner uses primary research techniques, complemented by secondary research sources, to build a comprehensive database of market size data on which to base its forecast.

The Gartner quarterly IT spending forecast delivers a unique perspective on IT spending across hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications segments. These reports help Gartner clients understand market opportunities and challenges. The most recent IT spending forecast research is available at "Gartner Worldwide Spending Forecast." This Quarterly IT Spending Forecast page includes links to the latest IT spending reports, webinars, blog posts and press releases.

About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT leaders, uniting a global community of CIOs with the tools and strategies to help them lead the next generation of IT and achieve business outcomes. More than 23,000 CIOs, senior business and IT leaders worldwide will gather for the insights they need to ensure that their IT initiatives are key contributors to, and drivers of, their enterprise's success.

Video replays of keynotes and sessions are available on Gartner Events on Demand. Follow news, photos and video coming from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on Smarter With Gartner, on Twitter using #GartnerSYM, and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo include:

October 24-27, Sao Paulo, Brazil

October 24-27, Gold Coast, Australia

November 6-10, Barcelona, Spain

November 15-18, Goa, India

February 28-March 2, Dubai, UAE

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE:IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The company delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in approximately 10,000 distinct enterprises worldwide. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 8,100 associates, including more than 1,700 research analysts and consultants, and clients in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

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