International Data Corporation (IDC) said that the figure included what businesses had spent on telecoms services and that total expenditure on hardware, software and IT services alone had topped $2 trillion on its own. The latter figure represented a 5.9 per cent increase from the total IT expenditure in 2011 and was recorded despite tough economic conditions, in Europe and Asia especially, it said.
IDC said, though, that some areas of the market had seen reductions in expenditure from the previous year, with sales of PCs down 2 per cent increase on the 2011 figure. Further spending declines were witnessed in the market for services, PC monitors and "feature phones", it said. The analysts said that spending on smartphones and tablets continued to grow and that, for the first time smartphone sales – which were almost $300bn – exceeded those for PCs.
"Cannibalisation is happening across the industry," Stephen Minton, vice president of IDC’s global technology and industry research body, said in a statement. "Smartphones have taken over from feature phones, tablet adoption is impacting PC spending, and the Cloud is affecting the traditional software, services and infrastructure markets. IT spending is still growing organically, but not at the same pace as prior to the financial crisis."
"Businesses are adopting IT solutions such as virtualisation, automation and SaaS as a means to reduce the annual increases in their overall IT spending at a time when economic uncertainty remains high," he added.
IDC said that it expects that IT expenditure will grow by 2 per cent increase in Europe this year, with that growth figure amounting to less than 1 per cent increase when the sales of mobile device are not included. The US will see a 5.5 per cent increase increase in IT spending in 2013, but there will be no growth in the Japanese market, it said.
"This will be another tough year for mature economies," Minton said. "Weakness in Europe, as governments continue to impose austerity measures with a direct and indirect impact on IT spending, has also damaged the export-dependent Japanese economy. The US should perform better, as long as politicians continue to reach 11th-hour deals to avert an economic crisis, and the PC market in the US will at least stabilise after two successive years of major declines."
IDC added that it expects to see "improving IT spending trends" in Brazil, Russia, India and China.