Worldwide spending on mobility solutions is forecast to grow 3.2 percent year over year in 2018, reaching more than $1.6 trillion, according to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).
This growth is expected to continue through 2021 with investment on mobility-related hardware, software, and services surpassing $1.7 trillion as the market achieves a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8 percent.
"The new mobility use cases and technology adoption in enterprises is driving growth in all three facets of the market, from devices to software and services," said Phil Hochmuth, program director at IDC.
Mobility Solutions Market Development
Mobility services will be the largest technology category throughout the 2016-2021 forecast period, accounting for nearly 60 percent of overall mobility spending and surpassing $1 trillion in 2021. The category is dominated by mobile connectivity services, which will deliver more than 90 percent of all mobility services spending.
However, enterprise mobility services, which are focused on the planning, implementation, operation, and maintenance and support of mobile strategies, applications, and devices or the final consumption of services through a mobile device, will see notable spending growth with a five-year CAGR of 15 percent.
Hardware will be the second largest technology category with spending forecast to reach nearly $675 billion in 2021. Smartphones will account for roughly 75 percent of all hardware spending throughout the forecast as consumers upgrade and refresh their mobile phones and enterprises equip their workforce with handheld devices that can run mobile apps and communicate in real time.
While notebooks will see modest spending growth (1.5 percent CAGR) throughout the forecast, tablets are expected to experience a decline (-1.9 percent CAGR).
Despite being the smallest technology category, software will see strong spending growth (14.7 percent CAGR) over the five-year forecast. Mobile enterprise applications will be the largest segment of mobile software spending, growing to $7.1 billion in 2021.
Businesses will also increase their development efforts with mobile application development platforms experiencing a five-year CAGR of 19.5 percent. However, all four software segments, including mobile enterprise security and enterprise mobility management, are forecast to deliver double-digit five-year CAGRs.
Outlook for Mobile Industry Segment Growth
The industry that will see the largest spending on mobility solutions in 2018 (nearly $45 billion) is professional services, followed by banking ($43 billion), discrete manufacturing ($38 billion), and retail ($32 billion).
In all four cases, a majority of the spending will go to mobile connectivity services and devices, primarily smartphones and notebook PCs. Enterprise mobility services will also be a significant spending category as these industries implement and execute their mobile strategies.
The banking and discrete manufacturing industries will each invest more than $1 billion in mobile enterprise applications and mobile application development platforms (combined) in 2018.
According to the IDC assessment, the professional services industry will experience the fastest spending growth over the forecast period (7 percent CAGR), followed by the telecommunications and utilities industries (each with a 6.9 percent CAGR).