​Australian IT spending forecast to tip AU$79b in 2016: Gartner

​According to Gartner, IT spending in Australia is forecast to reach almost AU$79.9 billion in 2016, a 2.5 percent increase over 2015.

IT spending in Australia is expected to reach just shy of AU$79.9 billion this year, according to analyst firm Gartner.

In its latest report, Gartner forecast an increase of 2.5 percent from last year's AU$77.9 billion, when it comes to spending on devices, datacentre systems, software, IT services, and communications services.

In 2016, the purchasing of devices such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, and printers is expected to drop to AU$10.7 billion from last year's AU$10.9 billion, the decline expected to continue with AU$10.4 billion the predicted total in 2017.

Gartner said the numbers highlight that the smartphone market is approaching global saturation, which has in turn slowed growth.

The PC and ultramobile markets are also expected to decline, with the analyst firm saying the underlying reasons are a combination of factors that are geography-specific, as well as the worsening economic conditions in many countries.

Datacentre spending should drop by approximately AU$400 million to AU$2.7 billion, only to return to AU$2.8 next year. Globally, however, 2016 is expected to see a 2 percent growth in datacentre systems spend year-on-year.

Australia will spend approximately AU$10 billion on global enterprise software this year, which is a billion dollar jump on 2015 -- a trend expected to continue into 2017.

Gartner said it downgraded its operating system forecast this year, which it says reflects expectation for further delays in the adoption of Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.

IT services will see the largest nationwide spend, with AU$29 billion to be coughed up in 2016. This year's figure is an increase of AU$500 million from last year, and spending on IT services in 2017 also expected to grow by approximately AU$500 million.

Communications and telco services should break AU$27 billion this year, pushing the AU$28 billion mark in 2017.

Comparatively, overall IT spending from neighbouring New Zealand this year is expected to be around the NZ$11.5 billion mark, which is an increase of 1.4 percent from 2015.

Communications services is forecast to account for NZ$4.3 billion of the total spend, whilst device spending should experience little to no growth over the next few years, expected to hit NZ$1.7 billion both this year and next.

For both Australian and New Zealand, Gartner said the figures, when reported in US dollars, saw a decline due to currency fluctuations.

Globally, Gartner expects total worldwide IT spending in 2016 to amount to $3.49 trillion, a figure that would represent a decline of 0.5 percent from $3.5 trillion last year. Although this percentage may not sound like much, it represents a total decline in spending of almost $15 billion.

When it comes to worldwide spending, software spending is expected to experience the biggest growth, up 4.2 percent to $321 billion.

In February, IDC predicted that IT spending by enterprises, government, SMBs, and others was forecast to grow to more than $2.8 trillion by 2019. The latest figures represent an increase from $2.46 trillion in 2015.

At the time, the research firm said that in terms of size, over 40 percent of IT spending will come from enterprises with more than 1,000 employees, with the SMB category expected to account for roughly one quarter of all IT spending.