Gartner raises 2011 IT spending forecast

Gartner raises its predictions for IT spending in 2011, although uncertainty remains.

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IT spending will increase by 5.1 per cent in 2011, according to Gartner, up from its previous 3.5 per cent forecast.

However, this growth would be lower than in 2010, when spending hit $3.4 trillion (2.2 trillion), representing a rise of 5.4 per cent from 2009.

"A similar level of growth in 2011 - while forecast - is far from certain, given continued macroeconomic uncertainty," said Richard Gordon, research vice president at Gartner.

"While the global economic situation is improving, the recovery is slow and hampered by a sluggish growth outlook in the important mature economies of the US and Western Europe."

Regardless of such concerns, Gordon said due to the cost reduction and money making potential of IT, investment has become increasingly important for business growth strategies.

"As the global economy repairs itself in coming years, we are optimistic about continued healthy spending on IT," he added.

Telecoms equipment looks set to be the segment of strongest growth in 2011, with an expected spending rise of 9.1 per cent, Gartner said.

This came as no surprise to Nathan Marke, chief technology officer at 2e2, who said businesses are looking at improving their communications through new technologies.

"Many organisations are starting to integrate both fixed line and mobile communications to provide employees with better access to IT services, as well as invest in technologies such as unified communications and presence to help them improve their interaction with colleagues and customers," Marke said.

Enterprise software and computing hardware should also see growth above the average 5.1 per cent across IT.

Both look likely to achieve 7.5 per cent spending growth each, Gartner said.

As for what else to look out for in 2011, read on for our review of security threats coming our way this year and whether cloud computing will really kick off in the next 12 months.

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