Global tech spending in 2013 will grow by 5.4 percent, according to a new report published this morning by market research firm Forrester.
Leading the way? Latin America and the EMEA region -- Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa -- with 9 percent growth over the next two years.
That's in stark contrast to Europe, which "will grow minimally in 2013 as it continues to rebound from its recession." However, the U.S. is expected to post 7.5 percent growth and the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to see 4 percent growth.
The name of the game? Surfing the waves of economic instability. Forrester says 2013 will be a transition year before 2014 growth -- 6.7 percent globally, it says -- as the world's economies manage the effects of the U.S. fiscal standoff, Europe's economic malaise, Japan's non-growth and China's leadership transition.
The buzzwords behind that growth are hardly a surprise: mobility, cloud computing and "smart," analytics-based computing are thought to be transformative. (We've only been saying as much here at ZDNet for, um, years now.) But the primary hurdle to tech purchases remains the same as it has been since 2008: shrinking IT budgets.
That weakness will continue to hurt computer hardware sales. "PC vendors had a lousy 2012, with zero growth in total" Forrester puts it diplomatically. Peripherals and servers did even worse, with 3 and 4 percent declines, respectively.
The one bright spot in terms of category? Tablets. The one bright spot in terms of company? Apple.
(Don't worry, I'll wait for you to pick your slackened jaw up off the floor.)
In all seriousness though, Wintel spend was down by 4 percent in 2012 and is forecast to be flat in 2013. It won't be until 2014 that Windows 8 will finally make headway, seeing 8 percent growth in buying.
The rub: Linux, Android, and Apple products will see "double-digit growth" during the same period.
The 10 fastest growing major IT markets in 2013 will be, according to Forrester:
- China: 10.3% growth
- Brazil: 7.8%
- U.S.: 7.5%
- India: 7.3%
- Mexico: 4.4%
- U.K.: 4.2%
- Korea: 3.8%
- Australia: 3.4%
- Canada: 2.5%
- Germany: 0.4%
And your top 10 markets in terms of size will be:
- U.S.: $819.6 billion (USD)
- Japan: $251.3 billion
- China: $113.9 billion
- U.K.: $90.9 billion
- Germany: $85.2 billion
- France: $77.5 billion
- Canada: $61.6 billion
- Australia: $48.6 billion
- Brazil: $46.3 billion
- Italy: $33.5 billion
Unsurprisingly, Forrester believes software will outperform hardware and services in 2013 as applications (from CRM to ERP) and analytics take off.
The biggest threat for 2013? If economic malaise in Europe and elsewhere spreads. Forrester's analysts harbor cautious optimism for the year as a whole, but concede that a "global slump" could occur if the world's largest economies fail to act.