Gartner slashes its 2017 IT spending growth estimate from 2.7 percent to 2.4 percent

The downward revision in growth estimates comes amid growing anxieties over the future of the IT industry.

Global IT research firm Gartner today further lowered its 2017 IT spending growth estimate to 2.4 percent from the 2.7 percent earlier on worries on digitisation. The firm had first predicted for a 3 percent growth in worldwide IT spends, which got revised down to 2.7 percent in January this year. The downward revision in growth estimates comes amid growing anxieties over the future of the IT industry, with concerns surrounding automation and rising protectionism that is being blamed for job losses in the country.

The USD 155-billion Indian IT sector depends majorly on exports and industry lobby NASSCOM had last month pegged a lower growth forecast of 7-8 percent in exports in FY18. "Digital business is having a profound effect on the way business is done and how it is supported," its vice president John-David Lovelock said in a statement. He added digital business is giving rise to new categories like the the convergence of software plus services plus intellectual property.

Stating that the focus now is on technology "disrupting and enabling businesses", he said the new technologies include Internet of Things in manufacturing, blockchain in financial services and other industries, and smart machines in retail. The forecast growth is still faster than the 0.3 percent achieved in 2016 and will take the industry to USD 3.477 trillion dollars, it said, adding this includes spends on hardware, software, IT services and telecom.

In 2018, the firm is forecasting for the spending growth to go up to 3.5 percent to USD 3.598 trillion. The enterprise software category is forecast to grow the strongest at 7.6 percent in 2017 to USD 351 billion, while the biggest category of communications services will grow the lowest at 0.3 percent to USD 1.378 trillion, it said. "With the increased adoption of Software as a Service-based enterprise applications, there also comes an increase in acceptance of IT operations management (ITOM) tools that are also delivered from the cloud," Lovelock said.

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