2021 IT spending to surge as device, enterprise software ramps, says Gartner

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Global information technology spending is expected to surge 8.4% to $4.1 trillion in 2021 as line of business executives spend on digital transformation, according to Gartner.

Gartner’s forecast said the IT spending surge won’t come from traditional technology departments. Instead, line of business leaders will see IT as cost of revenue or cost of goods sold as enterprises go digital.

IT spending will recover and surpass 2019 levels at varying rates based on the industry. For instance, retail and transportation IT spending won’t surpass 2019 levels until about 2023, said Gartner. Banks and financial services IT spending will eclipse 2019 levels in 2021.

Every IT spending category will move higher, but device demand will show the most growth followed by enterprise software. But every category will show solid growth in 2021, according to Gartner.

Overall, IT spending will be driven by digital business plans that will be refined and completed in 2021. Cost optimization will still be a priority, but the IT spending focus in 2021 is on revenue growth, said Gartner.

By region, Latin America IT spending will recover in 2024 and China has already recovered. North America and Western Europe will see IT spending recover in late 2021.

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