The total IT spend in Australia is forecast to reach almost $85 billion in 2017 as organisations build out digital platforms across the country.
Speaking at the Gartner Symposium on the Gold Coast, Gartner senior vice-president and global head of research, Peter Sondergaard, said this represents a 2.8 per cent increase from 2016.
In comparison, IT spend globally will be driven by growth in software and IT services revenue and is forecast to reach $3.5 trillion in 2017, up 2.9 per cent from the 2016 estimated spending of $3.4 trillion.
Sondergaard said software and IT services segments have also been the areas of growth for Asia-Pacific.
Gartner predicted software spend to grow 6.4 per cent in 2016, and another 10.2 per cent in 2017 to total $35.6 billion.
Meanwhile, IT services spending is on pace to grow 2.9 per cent in 2016 to reach $93 billion, and increase 4.1 per cent in 2017 to reach $98.8 billion.
As a result, Sondergaard suggested that every organisation creates a digital platform strategy.
“The battle for ownership of digital platforms, where networks of stakeholders bring value to each other, has begun,” he said.
“The good news is that there’s incredible opportunities for those companies that innovate, lead and ultimately succeed in the creation of new digital platforms that meet their customer’s needs better than their competitors.
"The bad news for those hearing about this seismic shift for the first time is, basically, you’re already a long way behind.”
According to Sondergaard, organisations must treat IT investments as assets not as costs.
“Not every organisation should assume a leadership role in a business ecosystem; however, CIOs must collaborate with their business counterparts to integrate digital platform development into their technology and business strategic planning,” he added.
Sondergaard also went on to say that the new digital platform consists of five domains: traditional IT systems, customer experience, the IoT, intelligence and the ecosystem foundation.
“CIOs will participate in the building of a new digital platform with intelligence at the centre," he added.
"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."