IT spending worldwide during 2010 surpassed expectations, increasing eight percent year on year to $1.5 trillion.
This represented the fastest rate of growth since 2007 indicating good recovery from the financial downturn, with the increase being driven by pent up demand for hardware upgrades and infrastructure investment following the financial crisis.
When including telecoms services, IDC figures indicate that there was six percent growth in the overall ICT market to $3 trillion.
Spending on hardware helped lead growth, with spending on computer systems, peripherals, storage, mobile devices and network equipment increasing by 16 percent to $661 billion, thought to be the largest growth since 1996.
Spending on software and services saw more modest growth however, improving by four percent and two percent respectively.
“Like the global economy, the global IT industry performed better than expected in 2010,” said Stephen Minton vice president of IDC’s IT Markets and Strategies Group.
“With business profits and stock markets back into a cycle of growth, many organizations took the opportunity to make up for lost time by upgrading mission critical systems and infrastructure over the course of the year.”
“While downside macroeconomic risks are still present, we entered 2011 on the back of a resounding rebound for the technology industry.”
It is forecast that the overall IT market will continue to grow by seven percent this year to $1.65 trillion, with hardware once again driving overall sales with an expected 10 percent growth.
Meanwhile software and services will increase by five percent and four percent, with investment in new IT projects such as the rapid adoption of cloud computing.
It has not been ruled out that a economy could see this growth derailed to an extent, though it is thought that globally we are on much steadier ground.
“The sovereign debt crisis in Europe may raise its head again, and we still lack sufficient visibility into many variables to be sure that a double-dip recession will not occur,” said Anna Toncheva, programme manager and economist at IDC.
“However, the consensus opinion is currently that such a downturn is much less likely now than six months ago, and this continued economic stability will provide the foundation for another year of strong growth in the IT industry.”
Growth in emerging markets will continue to be important with double digit growth forecast for Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
The Asia Pacific region will see growth of 10 percent this year, after 13 percent in 2011.
Meanwhile mature economies such as Western Europe, Japan and Canada will continue to grow but at a slower rate.
America will likewise see decent growth of five percent in 2011, following on from six percent over last year.
“Last year was a big year for the technology industry,” said Minton. “Some of the growth was just a bounce back from the declines of 2009, when the market declined by four percent, but there was also a very real surge of demand as businesses around the world continue to deal with the issue of managing, storing, securing, and analyzing the increasing flood of digital information that is resulting from the proliferation of mobile devices and embedded computing platforms.”
“As long as the economy remains stable, we look forward to another strong year of investment in 2011.”