IT Sales Lag, but 2014 Spending Looks Brighter
Technology spending is cooling off a bit this year, but it's still growing at a healthy rate, according to the latest Gartner "Worldwide IT Spending Forecast." And prospects for 2014 are looking brighter, with a notable increase in demand for hardware, software, services and other tech categories, according to the research firm. The current 2013 picture represents roughly half of the growth that was anticipated in a forecast issued earlier this year (from 4.1 percent to 2.1 percent), but the downward adjustment is mainly due to recent fluctuations in the U.S. dollar exchange rates, rather than to the lower demand for IT systems. However, there has been a reduction in this year's forecast for tech devices (a category that includes PCs, printers, tablets and mobile phones), primarily due to a continuing decline in PC sales, which aren't expected to improve much in the immediate future. The huge surge in mobile computing devices wasn't enough to offset the dip in PC sales: 2013 revenue for tablets is forecast to grow by 38.9 percent, and mobile phone sales are expected to increase by 9.3 percent, according to Gartner. This forecast was compiled through an analysis of sales by thousands of vendors for the entire range of IT products and services.