TL;DR: The latest industry analysis from Gartner forecasts a sizable increase in IT spending for 2023. There are ups and downs, of course, while large language models and other machine learning-based algorithms are seemingly destined to be integrated everywhere.

Gartner says that IT spending in 2023 will grow by 4.3%, reaching a total $4.7 trillion value by the end of the year. The Stamford-based market intelligence company states that Chief Information Officers (CIO) in IT corporations are "losing" the competition for skilled and talented employees, so they'll increase spending on technology for automation and efficiency to drive growth prospects instead.

John-David Lovelock, Gartner's Distinguished VP Analyst, says that IT projects are shifting from a focus on "external facing deliverables" such as revenue and customer experience, to "more inward facing efforts" focused on optimization.

The software segment will experience the most significant, double-digit spending growth year-over-year, with a 13.5% increase compared to 2022. Data center systems are a bit down, by 1.5%, Gartner also estimates, while IT and Communications Services are up (8.8% and 2.7%, respectively). The Devices segment is experiencing one of its worst growth years on record ( down 8.6%), Gartner highlights, as inflation and macroeconomic factors are still "negatively impacting" traditional device refresh cycles.

And what about generative AI and chatbot products like OpenAI's ChatGPT or Google Bard? AI tech has quickly become the top priority for many businesses and "IT leaders," Gartner concedes, but it has not "significantly" impacted IT spending levels yet. The analysis company predicts that In the long run, generative AI will be integrated into existing enterprise offerings and spending prospects.

Lovelock says that LLM and ML algorithms are best brought to market "through the software, hardware and services" that companies and organizations are already selling right now. The analysts predicts that AI will become yet another improvement and additional feature added to tech products and services on a yearly basis, either as an add-on or as an upgrade.

Most IT enterprises will incorporate generative AI in a "slow and controlled manner" through upgrades to tools that are already built into their IT budgets, Lovelock states, and companies can still thrive in 2023 without an AI product in their portfolio. They need to have a strategy and a "story" to sell to customers, though.

Gartner bases its IT spending forecasts on "rigorous analysis of the sales by over a thousand vendors across the entire range of IT products and services." The company says it can provide a "unique" perspective on IT market trends, but it could be wrong, too.