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World to spend US$2.4 TRILLION on tech in 2017

Software to overtake hardware by 2020, say abacus-shufflers at IDC

By Simon Sharwood, 10 Feb 2017

Analyst outfit IDC reckons the world will spend US$2.4 trillion (€2.25tn, £1.91tn) on technology products in 2017, with just under half of the cheques to be written by very large companies.

IDC counts software, hardware and services when it tots up its spending sums and says the majority of cash is splashed by business. The firm reckons “more than 20% of all technology revenues will come from consumer purchases” but that Joe and Jane Sixpack aren't going to splash on new kit “as priorities shift from devices to software for things such as security, content management, and file sharing.”The result: compound annual growth (CAGR) will be just 0.3 per cent

Among businesses, the big boppers buy the most stuff: IDC predicts that more than 45% of all IT spending worldwide will be done by businesses with over 1,000 workers. Small businesses with under 10 employees will account for a quarter of all spending. CAGR across businesses of all sizes should hit 4.3 per cent.

The financial services and manufacturing industries alone will account for 30 per cent of spend, partly because they're reinventing themselves for the cloud/mobile age. Professional services outfits and healthcare concerns will accelerate their spending fastest, clocking 5.4 per cent and 5.3 per cent CAGR respectively.

North America remains the world's big IT buying hub, with the United States alone set to spend $920 billion. Western Europe accounts “for slightly more than 20 per cent of worldwide IT revenues”, ahead of Asia-minus-Japan's 20 “slightly less than 20 per cent.” CAGR of 5.3 per cent is to be expected in Latin America , ahead of the four points in Asia-minus-Japan and the United States.

Tellingly, the firm also predicts that software spend will outstrip hardware spend by 2020, in part thanks to the cloud removing the need for hardware purchases. ®

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