Australian enterprise IT spending to grow in 2021

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Australian enterprise IT spending to grow in 2021

Enterprise IT spending in Australia is pegged to grow 3.6 percent according to technology analyst firm Gartner. 

IT spending across all industry sectors in the country will reach more than $95.8 billion, on the back of a predicted decline of 2.8 percent in 2020.

Gartner presented the data during its digital APAC IT Symposium/Xpo conference held this week. The forecast includes internal IT spending on staff as well as spending on data centres systems, software, IT services, telecom services and devices.

Breaking down Australian enterprise IT spending by industry vertical, Gartner reported that all sectors felt the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, utilities, government, education and healthcare were the most resilient in technology spending, while transportation, manufacturing and natural resources were the hardest hit.  

The chart below breaks down the spending forecast by vertical. 

Gartner research vice president Kristian Streenstrup reported that the COVID-19 response was different in resources and manufacturing than in other industries because it is not always possible to shut down a site. 

“These companies are in the top three sectors for technology spending in Australia, but as they are designed for continuous operation they simply can’t respond to external factors as quickly as a retailer, for example,” Steenstrup said. 

“The physical nature of asset-intensive industries makes it harder for employees to work from home. Looking ahead, we’re seeing strong interest from CIO clients in technologies such as proximity tracking to enable fast response to outbreaks and in the longer-term remote monitoring and control of equipment. Analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) will also attract investment next year.”

Transportation’s massive IT spending hit, -15.5 percent in 2020, comes as airlines ground up to 95 percent of their fleets and country and state borders remain closed. Working from home arrangements have also hit public transport revenues.

Gartner reported that tech spending by education organisation in Australia was forecast to grow 8.6 percent to more than #3.1 billion in 2021 thanks to increased investments in laptops, tablets, communication and collaboration technologies to support online learning.

Healthcare providers in Australia are expected to increase IT spend by 8.2 percent in 2021. Gartner reported the industry would continue to optimise spending on legacy technology and invest in more digital initiatives and data-driven decision making. Virtual care and remote patient monitoring has highlighted the value of IoT tech, which will likely see further investment.


Enterprise IT Spending Forecast by Vertical Industry (Millions of Australian Dollars)
Industry vertical 2020 Spending 2020 Growth (%) 2021 Spending 2021 Growth (%)
Banking & Securities 18,501 1.8 19,333 4.5
Communications, Media & Services 18,005 -3.4 18,529 2.9
Education 2,878 3.9 3,125 8.6
Government 12,652 5.5 13,241 4.7
Healthcare Providers 2,996 2.1 3,243 8.2
Insurance 5,690 -0.2 5,940 4.4
Manufacturing & Natural Resources 16,001 -11.6 16,063 0.4
Retail 5,071 -6.7 5,180 2.2
Transportation 4,788 -15.5 5,284 10.4
Utilities 3,599 6.6 3,454 -4
Wholesale Trade 2,309 -2.5 2,433 5.4
Total Enterprise IT 92,490 -2.8 95,825 3.6


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