Worldwide IT spending is expected to reach US$3.9 trillion in 2021, up 6.2 percent from 2020, according to Gartner.
Enterprise software is expected to have the strongest rebound of 8.8 percent as remote work environments are expanded and improved. The devices segment will see the second highest increase of eight percent and is projected to reach US$705.4 billion in IT spending.
The growth reverses the decline of 3.2 percent in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Last year saw an unprecedented speed of digital transformation to satisfy remote working, education and new social norms, which helped mitigate the pandemic’s negative effect on IT spending.
“CIOs have a balancing act to perform in 2021 — saving cash and expanding IT. With the economy returning to a level of certainty, companies are investing in IT in a manner consistent with their expectations for growth, not their current revenue levels. Digital business, led by projects with a short time to value, will get more money and board level attention going into 2021,” said John-David Lovelock, Distinguished Research Vice President of Gartner.
Through 2024, businesses will be forced to accelerate digital business transformation plans by at least five years to survive in a post-COVID-19 world that involves permanently higher adoption of remote work and digital touchpoints. Gartner forecasts global IT spending related to remote work will total US$332.9 billion in 2021, an increase of 4.9 percent from 2020.
“Digital business represents the dominant technology trend in late 2020 and early 2021 with areas such as cloud computing, core business applications, security and customer experience at the forefront. Optimisation initiatives, such as hyperautomation, will continue and the focus of these projects will remain on returning cash and eliminating work from processes, not just tasks,” said Lovelock.