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Gartner Forecasts Worldwide IT Spending to Grow 6.8% in 2024

Spending on IT Services to Surpass Communications Services Spending for the First Time in 2024

Worldwide IT spending is expected to total $5 trillion in 2024, an increase of 6.8% from 2023, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. This is down from the previous quarter’s forecast of 8% growth. While generative AI (GenAI) had significant hype in 2023, it will not significantly change the growth of IT spending in the near-term.

“While GenAI will change everything, it won’t impact IT spending significantly, similar to IoT, blockchain and other big trends we have experienced,” said John-David Lovelock, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “2024 will be the year when organizations actually invest in planning for how to use GenAI, however IT spending will be driven by more traditional forces, such as profitability, labor, and dragged down by a continued wave of change fatigue.”

IT Services Becomes Largest Segment of IT Spending in 2024
IT services will continue to see an increase in growth in 2024, becoming the largest segment of IT spending for the first time. Spending on IT services is expected to grow 8.7% in 2024, reaching $1.5 trillion (see Table 1). This is largely due to enterprises investing in organizational efficiency and optimization projects. These investments will be crucial during this period of economic uncertainty.

“Adoption rates among consumers for devices and communications services plateaued over a decade ago. Consumer spending levels are primarily driven by price changes and replacement cycles, leaving room for only incremental growths, so being surpassed by software and services was inevitable,” said Lovelock. “Enterprises continue to find more uses for technology – IT has moved out of the back office, through the front office and is now revenue producing, until there is a plateau for how and where technology can be used in an enterprise, there cannot be a plateau in enterprise IT spending.”

Table 1. Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Millions of U.S. Dollars) 

  2023 Spending 2023 Growth (%) 2024 Spending 2024 Growth (%)
Data Center Systems 243,063 7.1 261,332 7.5
Devices 699,791 -8.7 732,287 4.6
Software 913,334 12.4 1,029,421 12.7
IT Services 1,381,832 5.8 1,501,365 8.7
Communications Services 1,440,827 1.5 1,473,314 2.3
Overall IT 4,678,847 3.3 4,997,718 6.8

Source: Gartner (January 2024)

CIOs’ Change Fatigue Continues to Impact IT Spending
The overall IT spending growth rate for 2023 was 3.3%, only a 0.3% increase from 2022. This was largely due to change fatigue among CIOs. Momentum will regain in 2024, with overall IT spending increasing 6.8%.

Even with the expected regained momentum in 2024, the broader IT spending environment remains slightly constrained by change fatigue. Change fatigue could manifest as change resistance — with CIOs hesitating to sign new contracts, commit to long-term initiatives or take on new technology partners. For the new initiatives that do get launched, CIOs require higher levels of risk mitigation and greater certainty of outcomes.

Gartner’s IT spending forecast methodology relies heavily on rigorous analysis of the sales by over a thousand vendors across the entire range of IT products and services. Gartner uses primary research techniques, complemented by secondary research sources, to build a comprehensive database of market size data on which to base its forecast.

The Gartner quarterly IT spending forecast delivers a unique perspective on IT spending across the hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications segments. These reports help Gartner clients understand market opportunities and challenges. The most recent IT spending forecast research is available to Gartner clients in “Gartner Market Databook, 4Q23 Update.”

Learn more in the complimentary Gartner webinar IT Spend Forecast 4Q23: What to Expect in 2024 and Beyond.

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