Worldwide IT spending will reach $3.8 trillion this year, a 3.7 percent increase from 2011. That is according to Gartner, the internationally-renowned research firm, which said that IT spending struck $3.7 trillion in 2011, up 6.9 percent from 2010 levels.
Gartner has, however, revised downward its outlook for 2012 global IT spending from its previous forecast of 4.6 percent growth. Gartner said that the four major technology sectors - computing hardware, enterprise software, IT services and telecommunications equipment - will see slower spending growth this year.
This is, explained Richard Gordon, Research Vice-President at Gartner, largely due to continuing economic gloom, the eurozone crisis and the impact of Thailand's floods on hard-disk drive production. He observed that the floods have had serious implications for businesses worldwide.
"We estimate the supply of hard drives will be reduced by as much as 25 percent (and possibly more) during the next six to nine months," Mr Gordon explained. "Rebuilding the destroyed manufacturing facilities will also take time and the effects of this will continue to ripple throughout 2012 and very likely into 2013."
Large PC original equipment manufacturers are, of course, likely to encounter fewer problems than others involved in the industry. No company, though, will be wholly immune to the effects on the HDD supply chain, Gartner said.
Added to this, the research firm has reduced its shipment forecast for PCs, which has impacted the short-term outlook for the hardware industry.
Mr Gordon added: "With the eurozone crisis causing uncertainty for both businesses and consumers in Western Europe we have adjusted our forecast, and we expect IT spending in Western Europe to decline 0.7 percent in 2012."
The revised forecast has not surprised industry analysts like Nathan Marke, Chief Technology Officer of IT services company 2e2, who observed that caution remains in the market due to a number of socio-economic factors.
While he welcomed that IT spending is continuing to curve upwards, Mr Marke said: "Many IT departments are still facing considerable cost pressures while at the same time being asked to support greater business agility." It is not surprising, therefore, that two of the strongest growth areas are in enterprise software and telecom equipment, he remarked.