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Gartner forecasts worldwide IT spending to grow 6.8% in 2024

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Worldwide IT spending is expected to total $5 trillion in 2024, an increase of 6.8% from 2023, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. This is down from the previous quarter’s forecast of 8% growth. While generative AI (GenAI) had significant hype in 2023, it will not significantly change the growth of IT spending in the near-term.

“While GenAI will change everything, it won’t impact IT spending significantly, similar to IoT, blockchain and other big trends we have experienced,” said John-David Lovelock, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “2024 will be the year when organizations actually invest in planning for how to use GenAI, however IT spending will be driven by more traditional forces, such as profitability, labor, and dragged down by a continued wave of change fatigue.”

IT Services Becomes Largest Segment of IT Spending in 2024

IT services will continue to see an increase in growth in 2024, becoming the largest segment of IT spending for the first time. Spending on IT services is expected to grow 8.7% in 2024, reaching $1.5 trillion (see Table 1). This is largely due to enterprises investing in organizational efficiency and optimization projects. These investments will be crucial during this period of economic uncertainty.

“Adoption rates among consumers for devices and communications services plateaued over a decade ago. Consumer spending levels are primarily driven by price changes and replacement cycles, leaving room for only incremental growths, so being surpassed by software and services was inevitable,” said Lovelock. “Enterprises continue to find more uses for technology – IT has moved out of the back office, through the front office and is now revenue producing, until there is a plateau for how and where technology can be used in an enterprise, there cannot be a plateau in enterprise IT spending.”

Table 1. Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Millions of U.S. Dollars) 

 

2023 Spending

 

2023 Growth (%)

 

2024 Spending

 

2024 Growth (%)

 

Data Center Systems

 

243,063

 

7.1

261,332  

7.5

Devices 699,791 -8.7 732,287 4.6
Software 913,334 12.4 1,029,421 12.7
IT Services 1,381,832 5.8 1,501,365 8.7
Communications Services 1,440,827 1.5 1,473,314 2.3
Overall IT 4,678,847 3.3 4,997,718 6.8

Source: Gartner (January 2024)

In India, IT spending is estimated to record a double-digit growth of 11.1% in 2024, totaling $138.6 billion, up from $124.7 billion in 2023 (see Table 2).

Table 2. India IT Spending Forecast (Millions of U.S. Dollars) 

 

2023 Spending

 

2023 Growth (%)

 

2024 Spending

 

2024 Growth (%)

 

Data Center Systems

4,233 10.7 4,606 8.8
Devices 51,504 -2.6 57,852 12.3
Software 16,558 18.9 19,522 17.9
IT Services 25,486 10.1 28,898 13.4
Communications Services 26,952 3.1 27,754 3.0
Overall IT 124,733 4.0 138,631 11.1

Source: Gartner (January 2024)

In 2024, spending on IT services in India is projected to grow 13.4%, up from 10.1% in 2023. Due to a lack of internal skills, Indian businesses are looking to partner with external providers in areas such as AI, industry cloud, security, and data analytics, resulting in the expected growth of IT services spending in 2024. Furthermore, devices spending is expected to rebound in 2024 as Indian consumers expect to increase their spending when replacing their mobile phones and other devices this year.

CIOs’ Change Fatigue Continues to Impact IT Spending

The overall IT spending growth rate for 2023 was 3.3%, only a 0.3% increase from 2022. This was largely due to change fatigue among CIOs. Momentum will regain in 2024, with overall IT spending increasing 6.8%.

Even with the expected regained momentum in 2024, the broader IT spending environment remains slightly constrained by change fatigue. Change fatigue could manifest as change resistance — with CIOs hesitating to sign new contracts, commit to long-term initiatives or take on new technology partners. For the new initiatives that do get launched, CIOs require higher levels of risk mitigation and greater certainty of outcomes.

Read next: Gartner says worldwide semiconductor revenue declined 11% in 2023

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