Server, storage and software investments will drive an overall jump in IT spending of about 5.5 percent in Canada this year, according to a recently released projection from London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research. This will lead to an overall boost in IT spending from $82.97 billion to $86.56 billion, with longer-term growth of more than $100 billion expected by the end of the decade.

Michael O’Neil, the firm’s managing director, said financial and other industry-specific applications were fuelling the surge in software spending, rather than horizontal segments such as customer relationship management or enterprise resource planning. Many enterprises that initially deployed software to automate tasks or bring together diverse pockets of information are also preparing to see the “next generation of payback,” O’Neil added, as turnover in management brings in more technology-savvy users.

The forecast is tempered by what it calls the “sophistication/adoption gap,” or SAG, in the SMB sector. These firms won’t necessarily embrace the same level of IT adoption as their larger peers, O’Neil said.