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Gartner predicts 2022 global IT spend to reach $4.5 trillion

By Zach Thompson
Tue 19 Jul 2022

Gartner’s latest report forecasts worldwide IT spending to reach US$4.5 trillion in 2022, an increase of 3% compared to 2021.

However, the report notes that while Gartner anticipates an increased spend on IT, this will be much slower than 2021 because of consumers’ cutbacks in spending on PCs, tablets and printers, decreasing device spending by 5%.

“Inflation is top of mind for everyone. Central banks around the world are focusing on fighting inflation, with overall inflation rates expected to be reduced through the end of 2023,” Gartner distinguished research vice president John-David Lovelock says.

“However, the current levels of volatility being seen in both inflation and currency exchange rates is not expected to deter CIOs’ investment plans for 2022.

“Organisations that do not invest in the short term will likely fall behind in the medium term and risk not being around in the long term.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has worsened price increases and delivery uncertainty, resulting in CIOs and enterprises speeding up their transition from ownership to service.

This caused cloud spending to grow by 18.4% in 2021, and Gartner expects it to increase further to 22.1% in 2022.

Cloud service demand is reshaping the IT services industry and is also increasing spending on servers as hyperscalers build out their data centres, which is now predicted to reach 16.6% this year.

In addition, data centre system spending is anticipated to undergo the most substantial growth of all segments in 2022, at 11.1%.

Gartner also expects cloud consulting and implementation and cloud-managed services to increase by 17.2% this year, from US$217 billion in 2021 to US$255 billion in 2022.

This will drive the overall IT services segment to 6.2% growth in 2022.

Gartner notes that the IT skills shortage is having a significant impact worldwide but is expected to be less of a problem by the end of 2023, once the corporate drive to finish digital transformations slows and existing staff have had a chance to undertake upskilling and reskilling initiatives.

However, this doesn’t solve the problem for CIOs right now, instead forcing them to take action to balance increased IT demand with waning IT staffing levels.

Gartner’s Global Labor Market Survey comprises 18,000 employees and indicates that the IT labour market is continuing to tighten, causing attracting and retaining talent to be a major challenge.

The results from the first quarter of 2022 show compensation is the main driver for attracting and retaining IT talent.

Further, tech service providers are raising prices on IT to enable competitive salaries, driving increased spending on software and services through 2022 and 2023.

Gartner anticipates global software spending to reach US$806.8 billion in 2022, growing 9.6% on 2021, and spending on IT services is expected to increase to US$1.3 trillion.

“Additionally, CIOs are using more IT services to assist in the lack of skilled IT staff,” Lovelock says.

“Tasks that require lower skill sets tend to be outsourced to managed service firms to alleviate staff time, while critical strategy work, which requires high-end skills unobtainable by many enterprises, will increasingly be fulfilled by external consultants.”

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