A new Gartner report released on Tuesday projects a 4.5% year-on-year increase in worldwide information technology (IT) spend to $3.7-trillion in 2018.
Driven by enterprise software, digital business, blockchain, the Internet of Things and the progressions from big data to algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), the growth is a continuation of the 2017 turnaround in spending.
While there remains some uncertainty about the potential impacts of Brexit, currency fluctuations and a possible global recession, as well as potential shifts in spending patterns, businesses will continue to invest in IT as they anticipate revenue growth, according to Gartner research VP John-David Lovelock.
Gartner forecast continued strong growth in enterprise software, with worldwide software spending projected to grow 9.5% to $389-million in 2018 and 8.4% in 2019 to $421-billion.
Some $2.9-trillion in new business value opportunities – and the ability to recover 6.2-billion hours of worker productivity – will be attributable to AI by 2021.
“That business value is attributable to using AI to, for example, drive efficiency gains, create insights that personalise the customer experience, entice engagement and commerce, and aid in expanding revenue-generating opportunities as part of new business models driven by the insights from data,” explained Lovelock.
The devices segment is expected to grow 5.6% in 2018, after registering growth in 2017 for the first time in two years, while personal computer growth is expected to be flat in 2018.