In tight economic times, corporations tend to rein in hardware spending, letting users continue to use older machines, Bartels pointed out. But an improving world economy will set the stage for a release of pent-up demand next year.
Data from other market researchers broadly back up the trends seen in the Forrester outlook. For example, broad economic uncertainty and weak demand for PCs led IDC to reduce its expectations for semiconductor growth for both 2012 and 2013. In a report issued just before the new year, IDC said semiconductor revenue for 2012 would end up being $304 billion, up less than 1 per cent. That was significantly less than the 4.6 growth rate predicted in July. However, semiconductor revenue will rise 4.9 per cent to $319 billion in 2013 and reach $368 billion in 2016, IDC said.
Meanwhile, enterprises buying new mobile devices and investing in security and storage management will give IT spending a boost in 2013, said Gartner this week. Gartner forecasts worldwide IT spending, in terms of U.S. dollars, to increase by 4.2 percent this year to total $3.7 trillion. The difference in the Gartner and Forrester figures is due in part to Gartner's inclusion of telecom in its calculations; Forrester breaks out telecom spending into a separate report.
"Uncertainties surrounding prospects for an upturn in global economic growth are the major retardants to IT growth," said Richard Gordon, managing vice president at Gartner, in a statement about the report. "This uncertainty has caused the pessimistic business and consumer sentiment throughout the world. However, much of this uncertainty is nearing resolution, and as it does, we look for accelerated spending growth in 2013 compared to 2012."
But corporate planners are apparently not entirely certain that the world economy is out of the woods yet, cautions Computer Economics, which provides metrics for IT management, in a new report. "As IT budget planners look to the year ahead, they are expecting growth in IT operational budgets close to what occurred in the previous year, about 2.5%, while IT capital investments plans are flat and IT hiring plans are on hold," the firm said. "Until a clearer picture of the economy emerges, large enterprises are preparing for a slow-growth environment."
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