Australian spending on technology products is forecast to hit $84.8 billion in 2018, growing 2.6 percent, while worldwide IT spending is tipped to grow 4.3 percent to hit US$3.7 trillion (A$4.8 trillion), according to Gartner.
Among devices, data centre systems, enterprise software, IT services and communications services, software is slated for the highest percentage of growth in 2018 at 11.7 percent to reach $12.7 billion. Enterprise software grew at almost the same rate in 2017.
The forecasts were discussed during last week’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in on the Gold Coast.
"The overall growth rate in Australia and New Zealand is consistent with most western economies," said Matthew Boon, managing vice president at Gartner.
"What is happening is a shift in the type of spending, towards off-premises technologies such as cloud (SaaS and infrastructure), analytics and security and away from traditional IT, for example.”
While device spending was up by 4 percent in 2017, Gartner forecasts this sector will remain flat in 2018 as a $12.1 billion dollar market. Data centre systems sales will recover from a 1.9 percent decrease in 2017, growing 3.3 percent to $2.7 billion.
"Device vendors have moved away from selling low-cost, entry-level devices, instead focusing on the mid-to-high end of the market, along with providing better performance and user experience,” Boon said.
"Simply meeting a low-end price point is not successful in growing the market significantly and it hurts the vendors’ bottom line.
"With Microsoft launching Azure data centres in Canberra, and Salesforce now live on Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure in Australia, more barriers to using cloud applications are being broken down, especially for the public sector. Conversational interfaces for customer service are also attracting a lot of interest in Australia."
IT services, which will grow 1.8 percent to $30.4 million, represent the biggest area of spending in Australia.