New IDC Spending Guide Sees Commercial Sector Investments Leading Worldwide ICT Spending to $4.8 Trillion in 2023

Despite a slowing global economy and the looming trade war between the United States and China, purchases of information and communications technology (ICT) are expected to maintain steady growth over the next five years. A new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts worldwide ICT spending on hardware, software, services, and telecommunications will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.8% over the 2019-2023 forecast period, reaching $4.8 trillion in 2023.

"Global market conditions remain volatile, and although the economy has performed broadly better than expected in the past six months in many countries, a sense of uncertainty over the short-term economic and business outlook has been rising at the same time," said Serena Da Rold, program manager in IDC's Customer Insights and Analysis group.

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"Confidence indicators are fluctuating on a monthly basis, depending on short-term indicators ranging from speculation over tariffs and trade wars to political wild cards, with a potential global slowdown looming for 2019 and 2020, Da Rold said. “End-user surveys reflect the impact of this uncertainty on business decision-making, but our forecasts remain roughly stable overall for 2019 compared with our previous release, and slightly accelerated in the medium term, driven by stronger growth in software and hardware. Digital transformation and the adoption of automation technologies will be driving investments in applications, analytics, middleware, and data management software, as well as increasing demand for server and storage capacity."

Commercial purchases will account for nearly two thirds of all ICT spending by 2023, up from 60.4% in 2018 and growing at a solid five-year CAGR of 5.1%. Banking and discrete manufacturing will be the industries spending the most on ICT over the forecast period followed by professional services, which will also see the fastest growth in ICT spending, driven largely by service provider spending. Media and personal and consumer services will also grow nicely as these companies transform their businesses to offer new services and improve customer experience.

While purchases for planned upgrades and refresh cycles will continue to be the largest driver of commercial ICT spending, new investments in the technologies and services that enable the digital transformation (DX) of business models, products and services, and organizations will be a significant source of spending.

Consumer ICT spending will grow at a much slower rate (1.5% CAGR) resulting in a gradual loss of share over the five-year forecast period. Consumer spending will be dominated by purchases of mobile telecom services and devices (such as smartphones, notebooks, and tablets).

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