IT spending grows 6% in 2012, says IDC

Software, storage, enterprise network and mobile device sales helps save the day in struggling economy

Worldwide IT spending remains on course to grow by 6% in 2012 despite the grim economic situation in Europe, thanks to strong software, storage, smartphone and tablet sales, according to IDC.

While 2012 has been a tough year for many IT vendors, they have done better overall than many expected in the first half of the year, IDC said.

For example, software spending has been robust, even in parts of the world where the economy has been weakest, as businesses hope software tools and applications will help them implement cost-reduction strategies.

The 6% growth compares to a 7% increase in worldwide IT spending last year. IDC expects 6% growth in 2013.

Software, storage, enterprise network and mobile device markets have offset weaker sales in servers, peripherals and PCs. However, the launch of Windows 8 during the fourth quarter should help the PC market recover next year, IDC said.

U.S. IT spending will grow by 5.9% in 2012, compared to 8.5% last year. However, the strength of the dollar during the first six months of the year means that IT spending in dollar terms will grow just 4% for the full year.

Growth in emerging markets is still relatively strong, but has also been negatively affected, according to IDC. In China, IT spending is now expected to grow by 14%, compared to 25% in 2011.

IT spending is also expected to grow by 14% in India and Brazil, according to IDC.

Unsurprisingly, Europe is the laggard with a measly 1% growth, despite a robust software market in Northern Europe, and healthy smartphone and tablet sales. Japan isn't doing much better with IT spending expected to grow by 2% "before flat-lining again in 2013," IDC said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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