Canadian Underwriter

Worldwide IT spending to reach US$2.8 trillion in 2019; Canada, U.S. to spend US$1 trillion in 2017

February 9, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Worldwide IT spending is forecast to grow from US$2.46 trillion in 2015 to more than US$2.8 trillion in 2019, according to a spending guide released recently by International Data Corporation (IDC), a provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the IT, telecommunications and consumer technology markets.

Canada and the U.S. will provide the largest share of global IT spending throughout the 2015-2019 forecast period; spending forecast to pass the US$1 trillion mark in 2017

The Worldwide Semiannual IT Spending Guide: Vertical and Company Size, released late last week, builds on IDC’s previous IT spending forecasts by providing greater depth and detail on technology expenditures by geography, industry and company size.

According to the spending guide, North America, which includes Canada and the United States, will provide the largest share of global IT spending throughout the 2015-2019 forecast period and is forecast to pass the US$1 trillion mark in 2017. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will be the second largest region, followed closely by Asia/Pacific, IDC said in a press release. Latin America will be the fastest growing region with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3%, while IT spending in North America will grow at a 3.8% CAGR. Asia/Pacific and EMEA will both grow more slowly than the overall market, which is forecast to have a CAGR of 3.3%.

“With the global economy entering a new and uncertain phase, IT spending will be heavily influenced by economic cycles and wild cards over the next five years,” said Stephen Minton, vice president, customer insights and analysis at IDC, pointing to the collapse in oil prices and the “recent sluggishness in China” that has caused severe disruption for emerging markets. “In many industries, business leaders will turn to IT solutions, including data analytics and infrastructure optimization, to help them navigate the stormy economic waters. For IT vendors, the need is greater than ever for a detailed approach to targeting pockets of growth and opportunity amidst this volatile economy,” he said.

From an industry perspective, the largest IT expenditures will be found in the discrete manufacturing, banking and telecommunications verticals, with each delivering more than 8% of all spending throughout the forecast period. These three industries will be followed by process manufacturing, federal/central government and professional services. The fastest growing vertical industry over the 2015-2019 forecast period will be healthcare, with a five-year CAGR of 5.5%. Banking and insurance are tied with media and the resource industries for the industries with the second fastest-growing IT spending, each with a five-year CAGR of 4.6%, the spending guide said.

In terms of company size, over 40% of overall IT spending will come from very large businesses (more than 1,000 employees), while the small office category (the 70-plus million small businesses with one to nine employees) will provide roughly one quarter of all IT spending throughout the forecast period, IDC said. Medium (100-499 employees) and large (500-999 employees) business will see the fastest growth in IT spending, with CAGRs of 4.4% and 4.8%, respectively.

Software spending will be the fastest growing technology market segment, with a 6.7% CAGR, led by healthcare and financial services investments, followed by business services at 6.2%, with strong spending growth from media and resource industries. In contrast, hardware and IT services spending will grow at rates slower than the overall market, IDC reported.

Within the software segment, applications that facilitate enterprise and IT operations, such as enterprise resource management and operations & manufacturing applications, will receive the greatest share of software spending. The fastest growing software categories will be network software, collaborative applications, and data access, analytics and delivery applications.

Hardware will remain the largest market segment overall with roughly 40% of all IT expenditures going to devices, infrastructure, and telecom hardware throughout the forecast period. Telecom hardware, including smartphones, will represent more than half of all hardware spending through the forecast, while PCs will remain an important category of IT spending despite a five-year CAGR of -1.6%, IDC suggested. Spending on enterprise infrastructure will be driven by solid growth in the server and storage segments with CAGRs of 2.6% and 3.2%, respectively. “Healthcare and telecommunication firms will represent the strongest opportunities here,” the release concluded.

The Worldwide Semiannual IT Spending Guide: Vertical and Company Size is IDC’s flagship all-in-one data product, capturing IT spending across 100+ technology categories and 53 countries, with more than three million data points. It segments IT spending across eight regions: Canada, U.S., Japan, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Asia/Pacific.