Tech research and advisory giant Gartner has lowered its spending forecast for IT, pulling it back to 3.7%, pegging worldwide IT spending to total of $3.8 trillion. The earlier projection was for a growth of 4.6%, but Gartner now expects all major technology sectors- computing hardware, enterprise software, IT services and telecommunications equipment and services- to slow slower spending. The reason? Well, everything from the Eurozone crisis to the slow global economic recovery to the floods in Thailand, which have adversely affected the production of hard disk drives.
But is it all gloom and doom for the IT industry? Not really. There are some areas that will continue to grow and drive IT spends.
As customers access products and services from smarphones and tablets, companies are trying to leverage and boost their mobile expertise. Retail behemoth Wal-Mart as well as the Financial Times have acquired app developers to move their mobile strategy forward. Other companies are likely to follow suit.
Not everyone is migrating to the cloud, but most companies are spending more on software and infrastructure devices. Some companies, like FedEx, have already re-organised their data centers for cloud-like private services.
Several companies are burdened by shrinking budgets, and are under financial pressure. 2012 is going to be a year when companies need to take a call on social networking: is it a necessity or just another tool in their pockets? Gartner predicts that 70% of IT dominated social initiatives will backfire as companies try to strike a balance between finding a platform to get their message across to delivering real-time solutions. On the other hand, there are several B2C companies whose customers thrive on social media. B2B companies also need to recognize that their customers may be checking them out- and even discussing their products- on social networking platforms. Social media is not going away anytime soon, and companies, small and large, need to capitalize on the trend.
Whatever the analysts may say, companies are always looking to innovate and expand, and IT-backed solutions will be at the core of that process.