The growing need for so-called “civilisation infrastructure” will see the software and IT services segments help to push global IT spend to $US3.5 trillion in 2017, according to Gartner.
Gartner’s 2017 forecasts foreshadow a 2.9 per cent increase on the 2016 global IT spending numbers, $US3.4 trillion, which are expected to result in a slight decline in global spend for this year.
The bright spot for the IT industry, according to Gartner, has been the software and IT services segments.
Software spending is projected to grow six per cent in 2016, and it will grow another 7.2 per cent in 2017 to total $US357 billion globally.
At the same time, IT services spending is on pace to grow 3.9 per cent in 2016, to reach $US900 billion, and increase 4.8 per cent in 2017, up to $US943 billion, the industry analysis firm said.
Among the other global IT subsectors studied in Gartner’s latest research, the devices segment is expected to see a 0.4 per cent sliver of growth in 2017, to $US600 billion, after a 7.5 per cent fall in 2016.
The devices outlook comes as no surprise given recent research by both Gartner and IDC foreshadow the continued year-on-year decline of PC shipments globally in the third quarter, 2016.
According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 68.9 million units in the third quarter, a 5.7 per cent decline from the third quarter last year, with the Asia Pacific region recording a fall of 7.6 per cent for the quarter, almost two per cent greater than the global average.
Meanwhile, IDC reports shipments of nearly 68 million during the quarter, citing a decline of 3.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2015.
Likewise, in early October, Gartner indicated that the worldwide combines shipment for devices, including tablets, PCs, ultra-mobiles, and mobile phones are expected to decrease by around three per cent in 2016.
Data centre systems spending is set to see a two per cent boost in 2017, to $US177 billion, according to Gartner, while communications services are expected to see a slight, 1.9 per cent rise to $US1.4 trillion next year.
Gartner’s predictions of rising global investment in IT services and software comes as the company’s senior vice president and global head of research, Peter Sondergaard, hails the impending importance of something called “civilisation infrastructure” – of which Gartner reckons IT services and software will play a key role.
According to Gartner, a “new type” of infrastructure needs to be built that is not just going to reshape business, but also the way people live.
This infrastructure, which Gartner has dubbed “civilisation infrastructure,” is expected to be a digital platform that extends beyond traditional IT infrastructure thanks to new technologies that are not yet familiar to typical IT departments.
“Civilisation infrastructure will forever change the way people engage socially, digitally, and physically through connected sensors and digital intelligence,” Sondergaard said.
“CIOs will participate in the building of a new digital platform with intelligence at the centre.
"That platform will enable ecosystems, connecting businesses and collapsing industries. It will change society itself, and the way people live.
"Your new digital platform will allow you to participate in the evolving world of business, government, and consumer ecosystems because ecosystems are the next evolution for digital. It’s how you compete at scale."
There are five elements of the “new digital platform,” according to Gartner. These are: traditional IT systems; customer experience; the Internet of Thins (IoT); intelligence; and ecosystem foundation.
“Many industry models will transform with digital ecosystems,” said Sondergaard.
“Moving from simple relationships run by intermediaries toward distributed partnerships managed by a shared distributed ledger system, like blockchain.
“Building a strong ecosystem will help you manage the transition. Ecosystems are the future of digital,” he said.