IT spending forecast to grow 6.2% to $3.9 trillion in 2021: Gartner

Worldwide IT spending is forecast to increase at 6.2 percent to $3.9 trillion in 2021 from 2020, according to the latest Gartner report.
IT spending forecast for 2021 and 2022Worldwide IT spending declined 3.2 percent in 2020 as CIOs prioritized spending on technology and services that were deemed “mission-critical” during the initial stages of the pandemic.

The speed of digital transformation in 2020 to satisfy remote working, education and new social norms presented lockdowns and social distancing measures as double-edged swords – one which has abated the pandemic’s negative effect on IT spending going into the New Year.

“CIOs have a balancing act to perform in 2021 — saving cash and expanding IT,” said John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice president at Gartner.

All IT spending segments are forecast to return to growth in 2021. Enterprise software is expected to grow at 8.8 percent as remote work environments are expanded and improved.

The devices segment will grow at 8 percent to $705.4 billion in IT spending.

There are is combination of factors pushing the devices market higher. There will be demand for tablets and laptops for students. Enterprises are industrializing remote work for employees as quarantine measures keep employees at home and budget stabilization allows CIOs to reinvest in assets that were sweated in 2020.

Gartner forecasts global IT spending related to remote work will total $332.9 billion in 2021, an increase of 4.9 percent from 2020.

Digital business represents the dominant technology trend in late 2020 and early 2021 with areas such as cloud computing, core business applications, security and customer experience at the forefront. Optimization initiatives, such as hyperautomation, will continue and the focus of these projects will remain on returning cash and eliminating work from processes.