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The world is spending more on tech again, thanks in part to budget-busting smartphones and PC upgrades to get ready for Windows 10. Global IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2018 -- an increase of 4.3 percent from 2017's predicted $3.5 trillion -- according to a forecast by analyst Gartner.
Enterprise software and IT services show strong growth, but communications services continue to account for the majority of spending, according to the projections.
According to Gartner, enterprise software spending is projected to grow 8.5 percent in 2017, and will grow another 9.4 per cent in 2018 to total $387 billion. IT services spending will grow four percent in 2017 to reach $931 billion, and increase 5.3 percent in 2018 to reach $980 billion.
For the first time in a couple of years there will be more spending on devices: up 5.3 percent in 2017 and 5 percent in 2018. Gartner said this was due to increased average selling prices for premium phones in mature markets, and "partially due to the introduction of the iPhone 8 and 10, along with an underlying demand for PCs from businesses replacing their machines with Windows 10 PCs is driving the growth in this segment."
The iPhone X, for example, starts at $999/£999, making it one of the most expensive mass-market smartphones available.
Gartner has identified a number of markets that it thinks will make up the most "dynamic" portion of the IT spending forecast in 2018. Gartner's list includes cloud features (infrastructure as a service, integrated platform as a service and communications platform as a service), workplace technologies such as workstream collaboration, workforce analytics and video message-oriented middleware, as well as security (endpoint detection and response), analytics (smart data discovery) and storage (in-memory data grids).
John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner, said: "Global IT spending is showing little overall growth, as are traditional markets. These top 10 markets will be the key to remaining relevant and achieving growth in the future." And he warned: "Those vendors that do not move more quickly than their clients, will be left behind."
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In a recent Tech Pro Research survey, 39 percent of respondents said their 2018 budget would increase between 1-10 percent over 2017. This infographic has more information about how that money will be spent.
The research firm says that it expects worldwide IT spending to increase 2.4 percent to $3.5 trillion in 2017.
Gartner has cut its projected global IT spending rate in half as more enterprise customers flock to the cloud.