It is that time of the year again when research firm Gartner looks at worldwide IT spending and makes its forecast as to what the rest of the year will hold.

When it comes to 2019, things are looking rather flat, according to the firm with the projected total for IT spending expected to be $3.74 trillion. This would represent a growth of only 0.6 percent, which is down from the initial 1.1 percent growth forecasted in the previous quarter by Gartner.

As for what is causing this flat trend, the research firm points to a lot of political uncertainty and tension as the driver here.

Despite uncertainty fuelled by recession rumours, Brexit, trade wars and tariffs, we expect IT spending to remain flat in 2019,” says John-David Lovelock, research VP at Gartner.

“While there is great variation in growth rates at the country level, virtually all countries tracked by Gartner will see growth in 2019. Despite the ongoing tariff war, North America IT spending is forecast to grow 3.7% in 2019 and IT spending in China is expected to grow 2.8%,” he adds.

These factors will require organisations to prepare accordingly, Lovelock continues. While he does not believe an economic downturn is likely, the Gartner VP still thinks savvy businesses should not be left without some sort of planning in place.

“Technology general managers and product managers should plan out product mix and operational models that will optimally position product portfolios in a downturn should one occur,” Lovelock stresses.

As for what organisations will be spending most of their budgets on, Gartner says cloud will prove key in decision-making, with the capabilities it affords holding swap both in the applications and devices department.

Table: Gartner

To that end the firm says cloud will influence greater portions of enterprise IT decisions, and in particular system infrastructure. Added to this is spending on devices, with cloud applications allowing the lifetime of hardware to extend further than normal.

“There are hardly any ‘new’ buyers in the devices market, meaning that the market is now being driven by replacements and upgrades,” notes Lovelock.

“Add in their extended lifetimes along with the introduction of smart home technologies and IoT, and consumer technology spending only continues to drop,” he says.

With this latest projection slipping slightly lower than the previous quarter’s one, it should prove interesting to see if IT spending is expected to flatten out even further should the aforementioned political situations continue.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.