|According the Gartner, global IT spending growth began to turn around in 2017, with continued growth expected over the next few years. However, uncertainty looms as organisations consider the potential impacts of Brexit, currency fluctuations and a possible global recession.
Commenting on the forecast, John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner added: “Despite this uncertainty, businesses will continue to invest in IT as they anticipate revenue growth, but their spending patterns will shift. Projects in digital business, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and progression from big data to algorithms to machine learning to artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to be main drivers of growth.”
Enterprise software continues to exhibit strong growth, with worldwide software spending projected to grow 9.5% in 2018, and it will grow another 8.4% in 2019 to total US$421 billion. Organisations are expected to increase spending on enterprise application software in 2018, with more of the budget shifting to software as a service (SaaS).
The devices segment is expected to grow 5.6% in 2018. In 2017, the devices segment experienced growth for the first time in two years with an increase of 5.7%. End-user spending on mobile phones is expected to increase marginally as average selling prices continue to creep upward even as unit sales are forecast to be lower.
“Looking at some of the key areas driving spending over the next few years, Gartner forecasts $2.9 trillion in new business value opportunities attributable to AI by 2021, as well as the ability to recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity,” added Lovelock. “That business value is attributable to using AI to, for example, drive efficiency gains, create insights that personalise the customer experience, entice engagement and commerce, and aid in expanding revenue-generating opportunities as part of new business models driven by the insights from data.
“Capturing the potential business value will require spending, especially when seeking the more near-term cost savings. Spending on AI for customer experience and revenue generation will likely benefit from AI being a force multiplier — the cost to implement will be exceeded by the positive network effects and resulting increase in revenue.”