​Gartner expects Australia to spend AU$85b on IT in 2017

​The analyst firm predicts that total IT spending in Australia will reach almost AU$85 billion next year as organisations race to build out their digital platforms.

Total information technology spending in Australia is forecast to increase by 2.8 percent year-on-year to reach almost AU$85 billion in 2017, with Gartner expecting organisations in the Asia-Pacific region to shift their investment focus towards software.

Gartner has attributed the projected increase in spending to the realisation that an organisation needs a digital platform strategy, with Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of Research at Gartner, saying the battle for ownership of digital platforms has begun.

"The good news is that there's incredible opportunities for those companies that innovate, lead, and ultimately succeed in the creation of new digital platforms that meet their customer's needs better than their competitors," Sondergaard said. "The bad news for those hearing about this seismic shift for the first time is, basically, you're already a long way behind."

In 2017, Gartner expects APAC organisations to spend just shy of $752 billion on information technology, a 4.3 percent increase year-on-year.

Almost half of the total projected spend is slated to be on communications services, with the $365 billion figure representing a 4.1 percent increase over 2016. $211 billion is expected to be spent on devices, while IT services will see a 6 percent spending increase to $98 billion.

Globally speaking, Gartner expects IT spending to hit $3.5 trillion in 2017, up 2.9 percent from 2016. The analysts' figures show that the rebound from the 0.3 percent decline in IT spending in 2016 was driven by the global trend of investing in software and services.

Previously, Gartner predicted IT spending in 2016 to amount to $3.49 trillion, however it said the growth estimates were affected by Brexit. The referendum vote on the exit of the UK from the EU on June 23 caused global IT spending to go from modest growth to negative, Gartner said.

Its updated 2016 global spend came in at $3.39 trillion.

Disclosure: Asha McLean travelled to Gartner Symposium/ITxpo as a guest of Gartner.