Faltering global economic growth, the eurozone crisis and the impact of Thailand’s floods on hard-disk drive production will take toll this year

Gartner lowers global IT spending forecast

BOSTON — Research firm Gartner has lowered its 2012 IT spending forecast, with spending expected to rise only 3.7 per cent, rather than the previous forecast of 4.6 per cent growth.

“Faltering global economic growth, the eurozone crisis and the impact of Thailand’s floods on hard-disk drive (HDD) production have all taken their toll on the outlook for IT spending,” Gartner vice-president Richard Gordon said in a statement on Thursday.

Global IT spending in 2012 will now total US$3.8 trillion, Gartner said. Enterprise software, hardware, IT services and telecoms services and equipment will all see lower growth rates, it added.

The destruction caused by the floods in Thailand, where many hard drives are made, will have a serious impact on supply over the next six to nine months, Gordon said.

Economic turmoil in the Euro zone was another factor in Gartner’s decision to downgrade. The firm anticipates that IT spending in Western Europe will drop 0.7 per cent in 2012.

Gartner now predicts that worldwide hardware spending in 2012 will grow 5.1 per cent to US$424 billion, while enterprise software revenues will rise 6.4 per cent to $285 billion. The categories grew 7.6 per cent and 9.6 per cent, respectively, in 2011.

Telecom equipment will see the strongest growth, rising 6.9 percent to US$475 billion. That’s only a slight drop from 2011’s 7.7 percent growth rate.

But Gartner’s revised forecast expects much weaker growth in telecom services, with a 2.3 per cent rise to $1.74 trillion, down from the 6.1 per cent jump in 2011.

IT services revenue in 2012 will also significantly lag 2011, rising 3.1 percent to US$874 billion, according to Gartner. In 2011, IT services growth was 6.9 per cent.

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