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Jan 6 2011   9:47PM GMT

Gartner predicts 5.1 percent increase for IT spending in 2011

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

What would a new year be without some sort of prediction about IT spending? The latest market research firm to oblige is Gartner, which is forecasting that worldwide IT spending will reach $3.6 trillion in 2011, up 5.1 percent from 2010.

That’s actually off slightly from the spending increase of 5.4 percent that Gartner has recorded for 2010, when IT spending reached $3.4 trillion. But it IS higher than the increase of 3.5 percent that the firm had originally predicted for this year. Here’s the rationale, according to a Gartner press release, and garnered from Richard Gordon, research vice president:

“Aided by favorable U.S. dollar exchange rates, global IT spending growth is expected to exceed 5 percent in 2010, but a similar level of growth in 2011 — while forecast — is far from certain, given continued macroeconomic uncertainty. … Nevertheless, as well as a fundamental enabler of cost reduction and cost optimization, investment in IT is seen increasingly as an important element in business growth strategies.”

Gartner believes that the main technology categories driving growth will be telecommunications equipment, where sales are expected to expand by 9.1 percent. Sales of mobile devices are another strong indicator that Gartner is watching closely.

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