IDC gives global IT market a more positive outlook for the rest of 2014

Smartphones and software -- not to mention signs of life in the PC market -- are fueling IT spending this year, according to market researchers.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

It won't all be sunshine and rainbows, but the worldwide IT market is heading in the right direction, according to the IDC.

The market intelligence firm published an updated forecast on Tuesday covering the second half of 2014, calling for an uptick in global IT spend by 4.5 percent in 2014 at constant currency, or 4.1 percent in US dollars.

That translates to an estimated $2.1 trillion, covering IT spending across 25 individual market segments in 54 countries in 2014.

The more positive outlook follows a slower, or rather chillier, first quarter in which the IT market disappointed. Some of the factors look fairly obvious in hindsight, such as the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine.

However, the record-breaking long and frigid winter in the United States also slowed down and disrupted upgrade cycles altogether, especially for server, storage, and network infrastructure.

Looking forward, stronger-than-expected signs of life from the PC industry will certainly help, but smartphones are playing a larger role.

Taking smartphones out of the equation, the forecast would then be reduced to just 3.1 percent higher this year at constant currency, or 2.8 percent in US dollars.

The IDC also highlighted growth in software and everything that umbrella covers, including (but certainly not limited to) the big pillars of big data, analytics, social, and mobile technologies.

Analysts also highlighted some hotspots to watch around the globe, emphasizing "pent-up demand" for IT investment in growing markets such as India, Brazil, and Russia.

Naturally, China is a still on the top of everyone's lists with a forecast of 13 percent growth in constant currency in 2014. Again, mobile is key here because without smartphones, that projection would be just five percent.

By comparison, the IT market in the United States is only expected to grow by four percent overall this year while Western Europe is expected to maintain a two percent growth rate.

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