IDC: Worldwide SMB IT Spending to Pass $600 Billion in 2018, Driven by Mid-Market Demand for Software and Services
A new update to the Worldwide Semiannual Small and Medium Business Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts total IT spending by small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) to be nearly $602 billion in 2018, an increase of 4.9% over 2017. With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% for the 2016-2021 forecast period, spending by businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees on IT hardware, software, and services, including business services, is expected to reach $684 billion on in 2021.
Gartner: Global IT Spending to Reach $3.7 Trillion in 2018
Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2018, an increase of 4.5 percent from 2017, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc.
Enterprise software continues to exhibit strong growth, with worldwide software spending projected to grow 9.5 percent in 2018, and it will grow another 8.4 percent in 2019 to total $421 billion. Organizations are expected to increase spending on enterprise application software in 2018, with more of the budget shifting to software as a service (SaaS). The growing availability of SaaS-based solutions is encouraging new adoption and spending across many subcategories, such as financial management systems (FMS), human capital management (HCM) and analytic applications.
The devices segment is expected to grow 5.6 percent in 2018. In 2017, the devices segment experienced growth for the first time in two years with an increase of 5.7 percent. End-user spending on mobile phones is expected to increase marginally as average selling prices continue to creep upward even as unit sales are forecast to be lower. PC growth is expected to be flat in 2018 even as continued Windows 10 migration is expected to drive positive growth in the business market in China, Latin America and Eastern Europe. The impact of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X was minimal in 2017, as expected. However, iOS shipments are expected to grow 9.1 percent in 2018.
Gartner Says By 2020, Artificial Intelligence Will Create More Jobs Than It Eliminates
2020 will be a pivotal year in AI-related employment dynamics, according to Gartner, Inc., as artificial intelligence (AI) will become a positive job motivator.
The number of jobs affected by AI will vary by industry; through 2019, healthcare, the public sector and education will see continuously growing job demand while manufacturing will be hit the hardest. Starting in 2020, AI-related job creation will cross into positive territory, reaching two million net-new jobs in 2025.
IT leaders should not only focus on the projected net increase of jobs. With each investment in AI-enabled technologies, they must take into consideration what jobs will be lost, what jobs will be created, and how it will transform how workers collaborate with others, make decisions and get work done.
Gartner identified additional predictions related to AI’s impact on the workplace:
AI has already been applied to highly repeatable tasks where large quantities of observations and decisions can be analyzed for patterns. However, applying AI to less-routine work that is more varied due to lower repeatability will soon start yielding superior benefits. AI applied to nonroutine work is more likely to assist humans than replace them as combinations of humans and machines will perform more effectively than either human experts or AI-driven machines working alone will.
By 2022, one in five workers engaged in mostly nonroutine tasks will rely on AI to do a job.
Leveraging technologies such as AI and robotics, retailers will use intelligent process automation to identify, optimize and automate labor-intensive and repetitive activities that are currently performed by humans, reducing labor costs through efficiency from headquarters to distribution centers and stores. Many retailers are already expanding technology use to improve the in-store check-out process.
Through 2022, multichannel retailer efforts to replace sales associates through AI will prove unsuccessful, although cashier and operational jobs will be disrupted.
However, research suggests that many consumers still prefer to interact with a knowledgeable sales associate when visiting a store, particularly in specialized areas such as home improvement, drugstores and cosmetics, where informed associates can make a significant impact on customer satisfaction. Though they will reduce labor used for check-out and other operational activities, retailers will find it difficult to eliminate traditional sales advisers.
In 2021, AI augmentation will generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity.
However, some industries, such as outsourcing, are seeing a fundamental change in their business models, whereby the cost reduction from AI and the resulting productivity improvement must be reinvested to allow reinvention and the perusal of new business model opportunities.
Forrester Predicts US Business And Government Tech Spending Will Reach $1.5 Trillion In 2018
Forrester predicts that US business and government tech spending will surpass $1.5 trillion in 2018, up nearly 6% from 2017. In its newly published 2018 outlook for US industry tech budgets, Forrester reveals industries with the fastest-growing tech budgets as well as the technologies they’re choosing to invest in.
Below are key findings from the research:
- The 5.8% increase in US tech spending is concentrated in tech staff salaries and benefits, tech outsourcing purchases, software and tech consulting, and systems integration services.
- The US tech budget will grow faster than nominal GDP in 2018 due to the rising adoption of cloud solutions and an increased use of business technology.
- Although US industries vary widely in terms of growth, half will have growth rates that exceed the overall US tech growth rate (5.8%). Ten industries will see growth of 7% or more in their 2018 tech budgets.
- The chemicals and insurance industries will see the biggest tech budget growth in 2018, with an increase of approximately 11% and 10%, respectively
- Although the retail industry will experience lower growth in its tech budgets, it is expected to dedicate 45% of that budget to business technology.