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Worldwide IT spending to decline 1.3 percent in 2015

April 14, 2015 • Top Stories

Gartner

Data centre system spending is projected to reach $142 billion in 2015, an increase of 0.4 per cent from 2014.

Worldwide IT spending is set to shrink to $3.66 trillion in 2015, a 1.3 per cent decrease from 2014, according to the latest forecast by Gartner. Gartner said that the rising dollar is chiefly responsible for the slowdown.

“We forecast US-dollar-valued worldwide IT spending in 2015 to shrink by 1.3 per cent, down from 2.4 per cent growth forecast in last quarter’s update,” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner.

“However, this is not a crash, even if it looks like one. The recent rapid rise in the value of the US dollar against most currencies has put a currency shock into the global IT market. Taking out the impact of exchange rate movements, the corresponding constant-currency growth figure is 3.1 per cent, only off 0.6 per cent from last quarter’s update. Such are the illusions that large swings in the value of the dollar versus other currencies can create.”

“However, this illusion masks a bigger issue that has real implications. Every product or service that has a US dollar-based component must have those costs covered at the lower exchange rate. The simple implication is that there will be price rises. However, there are many other market forces at work — protecting US dollar profits will require a nuanced and multifaceted approach involving pricing, partners and product management,” said Mr Lovelock.

The Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast is an indicator of major technology trends across the hardware, software, IT services and telecom markets. For more than a decade, global IT and business executives have been using these quarterly reports to recognise market opportunities and challenges, and base their critical business decisions on proven methodologies rather than guesswork.

Table 1. Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Billions of US Dollars)

 

 

2014

Spending

2014

Growth (%)

2015

Spending

2015

Growth (%)

Devices

693

                      2.4

685

                     -1.2
Data Centre Systems

142

                      1.7

142

                      0.4
Enterprise Software

313

                      4.3

320

                      2.3
IT Services

948

                      1.8

942

                     -0.7
Telecom Services

1,614

                     -0.8

1,572

                     -2.6
Overall IT

3,710

                      0.9

3,662

                    -1.3

Note: Numbers may not add up to totals shown because of rounding.

Source: Gartner (April 2015)

The US dollar spending on devices (including PCs, ultramobiles, mobile phones, tablets and printers) for 2015 is forecast to decline 1.2 per cent to $685 billion. Spending for all devices in 2015 was revised down partly due to a slowdown in PC purchases in Western Europe, Russia and Japan, countries where local currency has devalued against the dollar. The mobile phone market is not as affected by the currency shifts. Substantial change in the phone mix in emerging markets toward lower-priced smartphones negates price increases of premium phones, resulting in flat phone average selling prices between 2014 and 2015.

Data centre system spending is projected to reach $142 billion in 2015, an increase of 0.4 per cent from 2014. External controller-based storage, enterprise network equipment and servers have all been impacted by the depreciation of some local currencies against the US dollar, but the server segment has seen the biggest impact due to the greater pricing pressure that server vendors are exposed to, due to their relatively lower margins.

Spending in the enterprise software market is on pace to total $320 billion in 2015, a 2.3 per cent increase from 2014. Nevertheless, this is a downward revision from the last forecast and is the result of a substantial reduction in the forecast for office suite spending, reflecting the acceleration of Office 365 adoption. Office 365 is disrupting traditional revenue flows. Its cost is prorated over the life of the subscription, resulting in significantly lower revenue growth as users transition away from the on-premises model.

IT services spending will contract slightly to $942 billion in 2015, down from $948 billion in 2014. The largest reductions were made in implementation services, particularly in the US. Although the oil and gas industry is only 1 per cent of the IT services market, oil and gas buyers historically react quickly when their prices drop, often cutting back on spending 20 per cent or more. Because the US is a large oil producer and a large market for IT services, the largest spending reductions on services is expected to take place in the US through 2015 and 2016, with an early impact on implementation services.

Growth in spending on telecom services is predicted to shrink by 2.6 per cent in 2015, to total $1.57 trillion. Among the more prominent changes affecting multiple regions were reductions in total connections for developed markets such as the US and several Western European nations, as growth in data-only connected devices and multi-SIM connections were not as high as previously expected.

More-detailed analysis on the outlook for the IT industry will be presented in the webinar “IT Spending Forecast, 1Q15 Update: Falling Oil and Rising Dollars.” The complimentary webinar will be hosted by Gartner on 14th April at 4:00pm UK time. During the webinar, Gartner analysts will discuss global IT spending from 2013 through 2019, broken out by devices, data centre systems, software, IT services and telecommunication services.

Gartner’s 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 upon which to base its forecast. The Gartner quarterly IT spending forecast delivers a unique perspective on IT spending across hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications segments. These reports help Gartner clients understand market opportunities and challenges.

Staff Writer

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