Global IT revenue took a downturn in 2016, but this year Gartner analysts had expected to see the market rebound to a growth rate of around 2.7 percent. However, Gartner revised its forecast in April, slashing the growth rate to a modest 1.4 percent increase over the previous year as more enterprise customers moved to the cloud and a strong US dollar challenged foreign exports.
Now, Gartner's forecast is trending higher once again. The research firm says that it expects worldwide IT spending to increase 2.4 percent to $3.5 trillion in 2017. Analysts attribute the increase to an uptick in digital transformation projects and a decline in the US dollar against various foreign currencies.
"Digital business is having a profound effect on the way business is done and how it is supported," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner.
"The impact of digital business is giving rise to new categories, for example, the convergence of software plus services plus intellectual property. These next-generation offerings are fueled by business and technology platforms that will be the driver for new categories of spending."
According to Gartner, the worldwide enterprise software market is set to grow by 7.6 percent, up from 5.3 percent growth in 2016, as more businesses turn to automation and new application functionality.
Worldwide spending on devices -- including PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones -- is expected to grow 3.8 percent to $654 billion, up from the previous quarter's forecast of 1.7 percent. Mobile phone growth will be driven by increased average selling prices (ASPs) for premium phones in mature markets due to the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone and the increased mix of basic phones over utility phones, according to Gartner.
Unsurprisingly, the tablet market continues to decline with perpetually extended replacement cycles.