Worldwide IT spending is projected to total US$3.79-trillion in 2019, an increase of 1.1% from 2018, according to the latest forecast by Gartner.
"Currency headwinds fuelled by the strengthening US dollar have caused us to revise our 2019 IT spending forecast down from the previous quarter," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. "Through the remainder of 2019, the US dollar is expected to trend stronger, while enduring tremendous volatility due to uncertain economic and political environments and trade wars.
"In 2019, technology product managers will have to get more strategic around their portfolio mix by balancing products and services that will post growth in 2019 with those larger markets that will trend flat to down," said Lovelock. "Successful product managers in 2020 will have had a long-term view to the changes made in 2019."
According to Gartner the datacentre systems segment will experience the largest decline in 2019 with a decrease of 2.8%.
The research and market analysis firm says this is mainly due to expected lower average selling prices (ASPs) in the server market driven by adjustments in the pattern of expected component costs.
The shift of enterprise IT spending from traditional (non-cloud) offerings to new, cloud-based alternatives is continuing to drive growth in the enterprise software market.
In 2019, the market is forecast to reach US$427-billion, up 7.1% from US$399-billion in 2018. The largest cloud shift has so far occurred in application software.
However, Gartner expects increased growth for the infrastructure software segment in the near-term, particularly in integration platform as a service (iPaaS) and application platform as a service (aPaaS).
Lovelock added, "The choices CIOs make about technology investments are essential to the success of digital business. Disruptive emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), will reshape business models as well as the economics of public- and private-sector enterprises. AI is having a major effect on IT spending, although its role is often misunderstood. AI is not a product, it is really a set of techniques or a computer engineering discipline. As such, AI is being embedded in many existing products and services, as well as being central to new development efforts in every industry. Gartner's AI business value forecast predicts that organisations will receive $1.9 trillion worth of benefit from the use of AI this year alone."
Better year for EMEA
In November 2018 Gartner said IT spending in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) would reach US$973-billion in 2019, representing a 2% increase compared with 2018.
Lovelock was quoted at the time as saying: "2018 is not a good year for IT spending in EMEA. The 5.8% growth witnessed in 2018 includes a 4% currency tailwind driven by the euro's increase in value against the US dollar."