Enterprise software, devices to drive IT spending growth this year, Gartner says

Companies will start pulling the trigger on projects they planned in 2013, according to a Gartner analyst

Worldwide IT spending this year will rise 3.2 percent to US$3.8 trillion, driven by rebounding device sales and strong growth in the enterprise software category, according to analyst firm Gartner.

Enterprise software revenue will jump 6.9 percent to $320 billion, thanks to increased interest in social software, database technologies and data management technologies, according to Gartner.

In addition, "2014 is going to be a very different year than 2013," when many organizations hunkered down and focused on planning software projects, not implementing them, Gartner research Vice President John Lovelock said in an interview. "But [2013] also had the specter of the future. We knew things were going to get better."

This year, more companies will begin executing those project plans, Lovelock said.

To that end, the IT services segment is set to jump 4.6 percent to $964 billion in 2014, Gartner said.

Meanwhile, device sales are set to rise 4.4 percent to $689 billion. Demand for the highest-priced phones is slowing down as buyers in areas such as the U.S. and Europe make choices in the "midtier premium" segment, while users in emerging markets go for lower-end Android phones, Gartner said.

There's also a shift in the way people are replacing devices, Lovelock said in the interview. For one thing, buyers aren't replacing PCs "nearly as frequently" as in the past. Instead, they are purchasing "the next form factor down," such as a laptop instead of a PC or an ultrabook rather than a laptop, Lovelock said.

Data-center system sales this year will stand at $143 billion, a 2.3 percent rise over 2013, when sales fell 0.2 percent compared with 2012, to $140 billion. The rebound this year is being driven by interest in cloud computing, virtualization and wireless LAN technology to support mobile devices, according to Gartner.

Trends such as more efficient "hyper-scale data centers" as well as the decline in x86 server sales are limiting growth in this segment, Lovelock said.

Telecom services revenue, the largest segment in Gartner's survey, will rise 1.3 percent to $1.655 trillion.

Of several line items making up the telecom services revenue total, only mobile data is showing growth, according to Lovelock. In fact, mobile data will go from being the smallest sub-segment in the category to the largest by 2016, he said.

The growth in mobile data is "not just about, I want Internet on my mobile device," Lovelock said. Applications on devices need mobile data more and more, as do increasingly popular onboard systems in automobiles, he said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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