Global IT spending to fall 7.3% in 2020: Gartner

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 13, 2020 Published on July 13, 2020

IT spending will experience more of a ‘swoop’ recovery

Global IT spending is projected to total $3.5 trillion in 2020, a decline of 7.3 per cent from 2019, according to a forecast by Gartner.

While the global economy is expected to witness a ‘swoosh’ recovery, IT spending will experience more of a ‘swoop’ recovery, it said.

“Overall IT spending is still expected to sharply decline in 2020 but will recover in a faster and smoother manner than the economy,” said John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. “Still, organisations cannot return to previous processes that are now rendered outdated due to the disruption of their primary revenue stream during the pandemic.

“From movie theatres to banks, Covid-19 is forcing all organisations to get creative and stay afloat without exclusively offering physical experiences. Specifically, Chief Information Officers with less immediate cash on hand should plan on becoming more digital than they had originally anticipated at the start of 2020.”

The total IT spending will reach $3.5 trillion in 2020, with all segments experiencing a decline in 2020. The hardest hit segment will be devices as cost containment will continue to reduce spending significantly through 2020.

WFH effect

Spending on devices is forecast to decline 16.1 per cent in 2020. Working from home (WFH) caused a temporary spike in device buying as businesses implemented business continuity plans for Covid-19 response, however, spending on devices is not expected to return to 2019 levels soon.

Gartner sees the pandemic response in three phases and as organisations enter the second phase – Recover – they will have a backlog of IT projects and less cash to use for them. As a result, CIOs will gravitate toward spending on subscription products and cloud services to lower upfront costs.

Also read: Connected workspace is the future of work


Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is expected to grow 13.4 per cent to $50.4 billion in 2020 and 27.6 per cent to $64.3 billion in 2021.

Ongoing workplace collaboration requirements will fuel sustained end user spending in cloud-based conferencing, which is projected to increase 46.7 per cent in 2020, according to the forecast.

“With the easing of lockdown restrictions, many businesses will soon return to a higher level of revenue certainty allowing some cash flow restrictions to ease and CIOs to resume spending on IT again,” said Lovelock. “This pause and restart will push growth out of 2020 and into 2021. The smooth ‘swoop’ recovery of top line IT spending masks a very turbulent recovery across some countries, industries and markets.”

Also read: Domestic IT spending to decline by 8%: Gartner


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Published on July 13, 2020
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