IT spending to hit record high in 2022 as industries look to the future

Worldwide IT spending is predicted to grow 5.1% compared to last year.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer

IT spending is predicted to exceed pre-pandemic levels by growing 5.1% this year, reaching a total of $4.5 trillion, according to a new report. 

A new forecast published on Tuesday from analyst firm Gartner details how worldwide spending on IT services will grow in 2022. In particular, Gartner forecasts that the enterprise software segment -- which includes the cloud market -- will grow the most in IT spending at 11% year-over-year. 

The IT services segment -- which includes consulting and management services -- is expected to have the second-highest spending growth in 2022, reaching $1.3 trillion, up 7.9% from 2021. 

John-David Lovelock, Research Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, told ZDNet that this growth stems from 2022 being the year "the future returns." 

"2021 was about improving and stabilizing most of the stuff that was done in 2020 with a little bit of optimization," he said. "But now we have companies going, alright, we know [where] we have been, we know what worked during the pandemic, we probably know where we want to be." 

This optimization and looking to the future means a more significant investment in the cloud market, especially within the enterprise application software market. Gartner expects the cloud market to be double the size of the non-cloud market by 2025. In addition, the cloud market is responsible for the enterprise software segment's 11% spending growth, as organizations across industries focus on upgrading their software stack to support greater flexibility in their workforce. 

"CIOs and CEOs have many things on their mind, including inflation, growth, vacancies, and their war for talent," Lovelock said. "Applications that solve one or more of these problems are the ones that are going to get greater traction."

An industry-wide reflection 

While industries like IT are growing rapidly in 2022, a recent trend across all sectors has been workers quitting in record numbers. According to the US Labor Department figures, 4.5 million workers left their employers during November 2021. 

Lovelock noted that instead of calling it the "Great Resignation," the "Great Reflection" is a more accurate description.

"Every organization is currently wrestling with inflation, wages, and how to treat employees fairly in this new hybrid work environment," he said, later adding that "to attract employees and attract customers, corporations are getting very reflective about their overall footprint in these areas."

Lovelock said the power structure between the employer and the employee has significantly changed. In 2022, companies will reflect on how they want to be perceived.

"Perception is directly tied to revenue and aspirations," he explained.

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