Information technology spending is projected to reach $3.8 trillion worldwide in 2015, a 2.4% increase from 2014, according to a new forecast by IT research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc.
The growth rate is down from the 3.9% projected earlier but still better than the 1.9% of 2014. Gartner says the trimmed outlook for this year is due to the rising U.S. dollar and moderate decreases in growth projections for devices, and telecom and IT services.
The largest chunk of projected spending, more than $1.6 trillion, is earmarked for telecom services, which represents a 0.7% increase over 2014 and nearly 43% of total spending for 2015.
But the strongest growth rate (5.5%) will be in enterprise software, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, according to Gartner’s forecast. Spending in this category will total some $335 billion, or 8.75% of the annual total.
Spending on devices such as personal computers, mobile phones, tablets and printers is anticipated to grow at a robust 5.1%, rising to $732 billion in 2015, or nearly one-fifth of total spending.
Global spending on IT services is projected to reach $981 billion, up 2.5% over 2014. Rounding out the five categories in the Gartner forecast, spending on data center systems is projected to reach $143 billion in 2015, a 1.8% increase.
Gartner says its forecast, which was released in January 2015, is primarily based on a comprehensive analysis of sales by thousands of vendors across the spectrum of information technology products and services.
The Gartner forecast is complemented by a new survey of 112 chief information officers (CIOs), in which almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents said they expect to boost IT spending by at least 2% this year. That’s 1 percentage point down from the previous year, although only 10% of IT executives said they expect to decrease spending this year, down from 18% in 2014.
More than four-fifths of executives responding to the fourth annual CIO survey were from North American-based firms representing eight industries, including technology, retail, healthcare and education. About 25% of the firms have annual IT budgets of more than $50 million.
Security remains a top concern for CIOs, with three-quarters saying they expect to increase spending to protect IT infrastructure, up from 59% last year. Spending on enterprise software also looks “very healthy,” with infrastructure improvements and enterprise resource planning (ERP) seen as priorities, according to the survey by investment banking and asset management firm Piper Jaffray.
Increased spending on IT appears to be driven by “a renewed level of confidence in [gross domestic product] growth, coupled with low interest rates and pent up demand,” the survey noted.