Global IT Spending Projected to Total $3.8 trillion in 2019 : Gartner Analysts

Global IT spending is projected to total $3.8 trillion in 2019, an increase of 3.2 percent from expected spending of $3.7 trillion in 2018, according to the latest forecast by Gartner. Analysts discuss the outlook for the global IT market during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2018.

Enterprise Spending

Enterprise software spending is forecast to experience the highest growth with an 8.3 percent increase in 2019 (Table 1). Software as a service (SaaS) is driving growth in almost all software segments, particularly customer relationship management (CRM), due to increased focus on providing better customer experiences.

Cloud software will grow at more than 22 percent this year compared with 6 percent growth for all other forms of software, According global IT spending findings. While core applications such as ERP, CRM and supply chain continue to get the lion share of dollars, security and privacy are of particular interest right now. 88 percent of recently surveyed global CIOs have deployed or plan to deploy cybersecurity software and other technology in the next 12 months.

Table 1. Global IT Spending Forecast (Billions of U.S. Dollars)




Growth (%)




Growth (%)

2019 Spending2019 Growth (%)
Data Center Systems1816.41926.01951.6
Enterprise Software36910.44059.94398.3
IT Services9314.19875.91,0344.7
Communications Services1,3921.01,4252.41,4421.2
Overall IT3,5393.93,6994.53,8163.2

Source: Gartner (October 2018)

Gartner analysts are discussing the emerging trends that are driving digital transformation and global IT spending this week during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo here through Thursday.

In 2018, data center systems are expected to grow 6 percent, buoyed by a strong server market that saw spending growth of more than 10 percent over the last year, and in 2018 will come in at 5.7 percent growth. However, by 2019 servers will shift back to a declining market and drop 1 percent to 3 percent every year for the next five years. This, in turn, will impact overall data center systems spending as growth slows to 1.6 percent in 2019.

IT services will be a key driver for global IT spending in 2019 as the market is forecast to reach $1 trillion in 2019, an increase of 4.7 percent from 2018. An expected global slowdown in economic prosperity, paired with internal pressures to cut spending, is driving organizations to optimize enterprise external spend for business services such as consulting.

In a recent Gartner study, 46 percent of organizations indicated that IT services and supplier consolidation was in their top three most-effective cost-optimization approaches.

Global Spending for Devices

Global spending for devices PCs, tablets and mobile phones  is forecast to grow 2.4 percent in 2019, reaching $706 billion, up from $689 billion in 2018. Demand for PCs in the corporate sector has been strong, driven by Windows 10 PC hardware upgrades that should continue until 2020.

However, the PC market may see some impact from the Intel CPU shortage. While this shortage will have some short-term impacts, Gartner does not expect any lasting impact on overall PC demand. The current expectation is that the shortage will continue into 2019, but Intel will prioritize the high-end CPU as well as the CPUs for business PCs. In the meantime, AMD will pick up the part of the market where Intel cannot supply CPUs.

“PCs, laptops and tablets have reached a new equilibrium state. These markets currently have stable demand from consumers and enterprises. Vendors have only subtle technology differentiation, which is pushing them to offer PC as a Service (PCaaS) in order to lock clients into multiyear recurring revenue streams and offer new bundles service options.” said  John-David Lovelock.

More detailed analysis on the outlook for the IT industry is available in the Gartner webinar “Global IT Spending Forecast, 3Q18 Update: Ride the Innovation Wave.”

Forecast Methodology

Gartner’s global IT spending forecast methodology relies heavily on rigorous analysis of sales by thousands of vendors across the entire range of IT products and services. Gartner uses primary research techniques, complemented by secondary research sources, to build a comprehensive database of market size data on which to base its forecast.

The Gartner quarterly global IT spending forecast delivers a unique perspective on global IT spending across the hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications segments. These reports help Gartner clients understand market opportunities and challenges. This quarterly global IT Spending Forecast page includes links to the latest global IT spending reports, webinars, blog posts and press releases.

“While currency volatility and the potential for trade wars are still playing a part in the outlook for IT spending, it’s the shift from ownership to service that is sending ripples through every segment of the forecast,” said Mr. Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “What this signals, for example, is more enterprise use of cloud services — instead of buying their own servers, they are turning to the cloud. As enterprises continue their digital transformation efforts, shifting to ‘pay for use’ will continue. This sets enterprises up to deal with the sustained and rapid change that underscores digital business.”

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Deepa Sharma

Deepa Sharma

Senior Writer and Editor at CXO VOICE, She covers technology, cybersecurity, and financial and other tech news and updates. She can be reached at "[email protected]"

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