Even with recession fears top-of-mind and political uncertainty clouding near-term optimism, enterprises worldwide still plan on increasing their IT spending a healthy amount this year. Analysts with Gartner today predict global IT spend to hit $3.8 trillion in 2019 for a 3.2 percent bump over last year.
Gartner analysts also said they expect spending shifts as CIOs focus infrastructure and staffing to support digital transformation.
“IT is no longer just a platform that enables organizations to run their business on. It is becoming the engine that moves the business,” says John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “As digital business and digital business ecosystems move forward, IT will be the thing that binds the business together.”
In order to future-proof their position of digital leadership, expect CIOs to beef up emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and catch up with cloud spend versus putting much additional capital into already commoditized assets.
“There are a lot of dynamic changes happening in regards to which segments will be driving growth in the future,” Lovelock says. “Spending is moving from saturated segments, such as mobile phones, PCs, and on-premises data center infrastructure, to cloud services and IoT devices.”
You can see the cloud dynamic in full effect when comparing enterprise software predictions versus on-premises data center equipment forecasts. Gartner says to expect worldwide software to grow by 8.5 percent in 2019, and an additional 8.2 percent in 2020. Meanwhile, data center systems will grow at half the rate of software in 2019, and by 2020 it’s expected to decrease by 3.9 percent.
As organizations shift their spending, Gartner says it expects IT leaders will need to deal with an attendant strain on workforce skills as they seek individuals to manage newer technologies and processes to support the business.
“Nearly half of the IT workforce is in urgent need of developing skills or competencies to support their digital business initiatives,” Lovelock says. “Skill requirements to keep up, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, API, and services platform design and data science, are changing faster than we’ve ever seen before.”