Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Gartner Slashes 2012 Global IT Spending Forecast

Happy New Year. IT market-research outfit Gartner has some sour news to start off 2012: It has just slashed its growth forecast for global on tech spending.

The new forecast calls for companies and governments to spend a combined $3.8 trillion on information technology, which would amount to growth of 3.7 percent from 2011. The previous forecast had called for growth of 4.6 percent.

For perspective, the difference on a dollar basis is about $100 billion, which is certainly real money, but when you consider the various puts and takes affecting the projected spend, it makes a certain amount of sense.

Gartner says that all four of the major technology sectors it tracks — computing hardware, enterprise software, IT services, and telecom equipment and services — will see their growth rates slow this year.

You can probably guess why: The uncertain global economy, the euro zone sovereign debt crisis and the disruptions on the hardware supply chain from last year’s flooding in Thailand on hard-drive production have all teamed up to perform a triple whammy on the tech sector. The Thailand problem will probably last until well into 2013, Gartner’s Richard Gordon says in a statement, echoing what Seagate CEO Steve Luczo told AllThingsD in an interview in November.

Telecom equipment spending will probably suffer the least, Gartner says. Sales in that sector will grow by nearly 7 percent to $475 billion, followed by the enterprise software market, which will grow by 6.4 percent to $285 billion. The chart at the right, which I screengrabbed from Gartner’s handout, breaks down the revised outlook by each sector versus what the previous growth outlook had been.

Gartner also trimmed its average annual growth projection for IT spending through 2015. It now expects spending to grow by about 5 percent on average, down only slightly from 5.4 percent, but in the wider scope of a few trillion dollars, a fractional change still amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars.

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