Strong performance in software, storage, enterprise network and mobile device markets has offset weaker trends in PCs, servers, peripherals and telecom provider equipment. However, the strength of the U.S. dollar in the first half of 2012 means that IT spending is on course for growth of just 4 percent this year.
Including telecom services, it's now estimated that total ICT spending will increase by 5 percent this year in constant currency to $3.6 trillion (that's growth of 2.5 percent in U.S. dollars).
"In spite of economic uncertainty, which continues to inhibit enterprise investment in some tech segments, the continuing demand for tablets, smartphones, storage capacity and network performance improvements actually outperformed expectations in the first half of the year," said Stephen Minton, Vice President, IDC Global Technology and Industry Research.
That being said, software spending has been very robust -- even in regions where economic trends have been weakest -- as businesses turn to software tools and cloud applications as a means of implementing their IT cost-reduction strategies.
Key Trends in the Worldwide IT Market include:
- American business spending on IT remains on course for weaker performance than 2011 with growth of 5.9% (down from 8.5% last year); the launch of Windows 8 in Q4 may help to drive a meaningful recovery in the PC market next year.
- While Western Europe remains weak overall due to the slow economy, software growth in Northern Europe was robust, and mobile device shipments (smartphones and tablets) have remained on course; excluding mobile devices, however, Europe is on course for just 1% growth in constant currency (a -4.5% decline in U.S. dollars).
- The recovery in Japan has lost some momentum, with IT growth in constant currency now on course for an increase of just 2% this year before flat lining again in 2013.
- Growth in emerging markets is still relatively strong,; in China, where the manufacturing sector has been impacted by slowing exports to Europe, IT spending is now on course for 14% growth this year in constant currency (down from 25% growth in 2011), with PC spending on course for growth of just 7% after a weaker-than-expected first half (down from 19% growth in 2011).
- Strong growth is still expected in India (14%), Brazil (14%), Russia (11%) and South Africa (8%).
- Overall Worldwide IT spending is now expected to grow by 6% in 2013 to $2.1 trillion (ICT spending including telecom services will increase by 5% next year to $3.8 trillion).
"In particular, the strength of software spending seems to prove that many enterprises have unlocked significant productivity and efficiency improvements. If the economy avoids downside scenarios in the second half of the year, a PC upgrade cycle in 2013 should help to maintain this momentum," said Minton.
IDC provides forecasts for IT spending in 54 countries around the world. These forecasts focus on 25 individual market segments across hardware, software, IT services, and telecom services for individual countries in all regions -- including North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.