Per Gartner’s annual forecast, worldwide information technology spending will rise to $3.7 trillion in 2018 – a 4.5% increase compared to last year.
Emerging technologies, such as the cryptocurrency ledger blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), will fuel growth as companies of all shapes and sizes around the globe seek to capitalize on the potential of digital business operations. In addition to new tech, the prominent IT research and advisory firm expects spending in established areas such as enterprise mobility and cloud computing to remain strong, too.
Gartner also reported that 2017 IT spending totaled $3.5 trillion – an increase of 3.8% from 2016, which indicates an accelerating growth curve that favors steady migration to the cloud. Businesses across all industries will continue to shift IT spending away from data center systems and into cloud-powered software and services in 2018, John-David Lovelock, a Gartner research vice president, told the Wall Street Journal. In fact, Gartner projects spending on enterprise software will climb 9.5% over last year’s level to reach $389 billion, as corporate budgets channel more funds into software-as-a-service.
As argued in previous posts, moving business operations to the cloud can be a double-edged sword. While enhanced reliability, flexibility, manageability and scalability enable businesses to cut IT infrastructure costs, common “ cloud mistakes” can slice those gains with counteracting new expenses. Wise companies plan cloud migrations carefully, taking a deliberate, phased approach that accounts for needs that vary by industry and markets. We can help with this long-cycle process – and, meantime, fill any cloud skills gaps you have.
Another area where Gartner foresees IT advances in 2018 is spending on devices for mobile computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), with an increase of 5.6% over last year to $704 billion. Coupled with continuing movement toward Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) programs, this proliferation of mobile endpoints raises cybersecurity risks. So, as counseled in prior posts, your company should review its BYOD policies and cybersecure practices on a regular basis.
Yet another growth factor will be spending on AI, which Gartner envisions generating an estimated $2.9 trillion in new business value by 2021. AI-powered tools will “drive efficiency gains, create insights that personalize the customer experience, entice engagement and commerce, and aid in expanding revenue-generating opportunities,” Lovelock elaborated in the Wall Street Journal article.
How will a share of AI’s value come to your business? In a post late last year, we imagined three ways:
- IoT via the swelling wave of connected devices.
- Cybersecurity in the form of firewalls and routers enhanced by machine learning.
- And Virtual Assistants (VA) like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
For more details on these developments, see our full post here.
More good news: Gartner believes spending on IT services will jump 5.5% to $985 billion, which makes sense to us. Many IT Managed Services Providers (MSPs) not only possess the experience needed to integrate new and existing technologies, they also have the commensurate business acumen to help accelerate your organization’s digital transformation.