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Global IT Spending will Reach $3.7 Trillion in 2018

The ongoing momentum for progressive digital transformation projects continue to fuel IT infrastructure investments across the globe. Open innovation, that will be enabled by emerging business technologies, is the commercial catalyst that can drive a strategic competitive advantage.

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2018 alone -- that's an increase of 4.3 percent from 2017 estimated spending of $3.5 trillion, according to the latest global market study by Gartner.

Global IT Infrastructure Market Development

Enterprise software and IT services continue to register strong growth, with communications services driving the majority of new spending. Software spending is projected to grow 8.5 percent during 2017, and it will grow another 9.4 percent in 2018 to total $387 billion.

IT services spending is on pace to grow by 4 percent in 2017 to reach $931 billion, and that's an increase of 5.3 percent in 2018 to reach $980 billion. Moreover, the devices segment is expected to exhibit growth for the first time in two years -- with an anticipated increase of 5.3 percent in 2017 and 5 percent in 2018.

Increased average selling prices for premium mobile phones in mature markets -- partially due to the introduction of the iPhone 8 and 10 -- along with an underlying demand for computers from businesses replacing their devices with Windows 10 PCs is driving the growth in this segment.

Gartner analysts were discussing the emerging trends that are driving digital transformation during the recent Gartner Symposium and ITxpo. While all IT spending segments are expected to experience growth in 2017, Gartner has identified 10 markets within these segments that will make up the most dynamic portion of the IT spending forecast in 2018.

"Looking at market opportunity -- how profitable a market is, how big it is and how fast is it growing today and for the next five years -- we've identified the top markets that companies should be looking to be part of in 2018," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner.

That being said, according to the Gartner assessment, legacy IT spending is showing little overall market growth at this time, as are the traditional enterprise markets. The top 10 markets will be the key to vendors remaining relevant and achieving growth in the foreseeable future.

These 10 markets -- including three cloud segments (infrastructure as a service, integrated platform as a service and communications platform as a service) -- range from technologies that enhance the digital workplace, such as workstream collaboration, workforce analytics and video message-oriented middleware (MOM), to security (endpoint detection and response), analytics (smart data discovery) and storage (in-memory data grids).

Outlook for Digital Transformation Trends

All of these IT infrastructure investments are likely tied directly to enabling and enhancing an enterprise's digital transformation efforts. This is the new normal.

"The IT buying landscape is changing: Digital business transformation is an effort to create connected, platforms and new industry revenue streams," said Mr. Lovelock. "Organizations that are not creating new digital business models or new ways to engage constituents or customers, are falling behind. Those vendors that do not move more quickly than their clients, will be left behind."

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