Gartner Has Revised Worldwide IT Spending Forecast, Says 2012 Showing Mixed Results


Enterprise IT government spending will be down, but the overall enterprise IT spending is up. There’s a steady increase in manufacturing spending, retail is accelerating in 2012, financial services slow in 2012, but forecast to gain speed in the following years. The governments of Brazil and China will lead in IT investment; in Japan and Australia governments will also continue growing investments. European governments are reducing the IT workforce costs and IT investment. Those IT sectors where spending remains strong include mobile devices, storage, vertical specific software, and enterprise communication equipment.



Worldwide IT spending is forecast to total $3.7 trillion in 2012, a 2.5% increase from 2011, according to the latest outlook by Gartner, Inc. This is down from Gartner’s previous forecast of 3.7 percent growth for 2012. However, when looking at spending in constant U.S. dollars, Gartner analysts said IT spending is on pace to increase 5.2 percent in 2012, up from its previous projection of 4.6 percent.


The lower growth rate has more to do with the U.S. currency than an actual decline in spending, said Gartner analysts. The recent strengthening in the value of the U.S. dollar versus other currencies has resulted in the reduced growth rate.


The government sector’s IT spending is expected to contract moderately globally in 2012 and 2013, driven by austerity measures in the Eurozone. Analysts expect U.S. government spending to be essentially flat in 2012 before contracting in 2013.


The small and midsize business market represents approximately a quarter of all enterprise IT spending. The IT spending forecast is to reach $874 billion in 2012 and will grow to $1 trillion by 2016. Midsized business IT spending is forecast to outperform other sectors in each of the next five years, driven by growth in spending on enterprise software.


The worldwide telecom equipment market will likely lead with the strongest growth, spending is forecast to reach $472 billion in 2012, a 6.9 % increase from 2011. Gartner attributes this growth to the continued health of the mobile devices market as well as a more positive outlook for enterprise network equipment, which is being driven by spending on application acceleration equipment, network security, WLAN and Ethernet switches.


Table 1. Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Billions of U.S. Dollars)
Growth (%)
Growth (%)
Computing Hardware   404   7.7   421   4.3
Enterprise Software   267   9.2   280   5.0
IT Services   845   6.5   856   1.3
Telecom Equipment   442   7.2   472   6.9
Telecom Services   1,704   6.3   1,721   1.0
All IT   3,661   6.8   3,751   2.5
Source: Gartner (April 2012)



About Gartner 

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner 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 a valuable partner to 60,000 clients in 11,500 distinct organizations.

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 This Quarterly IT Spending Forecast section includes links to the latest IT spending reports, webinars, blog posts and press releases.

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