Research firm Gartner predicts that global IT spending will reach $3.7 trillion by the end of 2013, which is approximately 2 percent higher than last year’s figure of $3.6 trillion. To the surprise of many, these numbers are slightly lower than the 4.1 percent growth that Gartner had estimated just three months ago.
The Gartner report suggests several reasons as to why the spending projections are lower. The primary factor is that the US dollar has shrunk in recent times. Most IT hardware manufacturers are headquartered in the United States; therefore, Gartner measures all spending using the US currency. As a result, a lower dollar means that IT spending appears to be considerbly worse than it actually is.
The emergence of mobile devices has also taken a hit on PC sales, which are expected to decline by 10.9 percent this year. In contrast, Gartner predicts that tablet sales will rise by 38.9 percent, and cell phones will see a respectable 9.3 percent growth themselves.
Despite the inevitable rise of mobile devices, this spending does not seem to be counteracting the lack of new PCs in the office. The July forecast estimates that spending on end-user devices, which include smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktop PCs, will only see a 2.8 percent growth. This figure doesn’t seem too bad at first glance, but it pales in comparison to the March estimate of 7.9 percent. That being said, with the bring your own device (BYOD) trend solidifying itself in the corporate community, it is extremely difficult to distinguish between devices that are used exclusively for consumer purposes, and those that double as work aids.
Overall, the news definitely isn’t good for vendors, but it does indicate that consumers are generally happy with what they already have.