Gartner is hosting one of its Symposium/ITxpo’s in Barcelona at the moment, and the research firm has been releasing some of its forecasts for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, with latest one focusing on IT spending.

According to Gartner, spending in EMEA is set to total $973 billion in 2019, which is an increase of two percent from this year’s forecast.

“2018 is not a good year for IT spending in EMEA,” says John Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner.

“The 5.8 percent growth witnessed in 2018 includes a 4 per cent currency tailwind driven by the Euro’s increase in value against the US Dollar,” he adds in a report on the forecast.

The uncertainty of Brexit

When it comes to Europe, much of this slow growth is down to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Once that has been addressed and greater clarity is created, IT spending should return to a normal rate of increase.

“IT spending in EMEA has been stuck and will remain stuck until the unknowns surrounding Brexit are resolved,” explains the research VP.

Diving deeper into the projected numbers, Gartner does not see much growth for any of the major spending categories.

Devices for example are set to decline in 2019, with consumer PCs and smartphones both reaching a point of saturation, and therefore not prompting any real need for organisations or employees to upgrade to new hardware.

The same goes for data centre spending, with the increase in 2018 prompted by necessary upgrades and the need to tackle security concerns. With those two aspects now taken care of, there is little need for organisations to spend as vigorously on data centres next year.

The only real area where significant growth in spending is forecasted is IT security, with GDPR in particular highlighted as a motivator in this regard.

“The enforcement of GDPR has moved security to a board-level priority. Organisations that are not protecting their customers’ privacy are not protecting their brand,” notes Lovelock.

“Global spending on IT security will surpass $133 billion in 2019 and in EMEA it will reach $40 billion in 2019, up 7.8 percent from 2018,” he concludes.

Will SA follow suit?

With uncertainty abound in the region, it appears as if the outlook for spending in 2019 is cautious at best.

As for what 2019 will hold for South Africa, Gartner noted that spending in the country was on the rise this year as local organisations looked to play catch up with their international counterparts.

That desire likely won’t change next year, but we’ll have to wait and see what Gartner’s findings indicate.

EMEA IT Spending Forecast (Billions in US Dollars)

  2018 Spending 2018 Growth (%) 2019 Spending 2019 Growth (%)
Data Centre Systems 46.330 5.4 46.545 0.5
Enterprise Software 108.832 12.7 116.751 7.3
Devices 155.685 2.1 153.909 -1.1
IT Services 286.717 8.9 299.414 4.4
Communications Services 356.028 3.2 356.408 0.1
Overall IT 953.592 5.8 973.023 2.0

Source: Gartner (November 2018).