According to market research experts Gartner, the IT market will reach $3.7tn this year.
Gartner’s investigations also indicate that businesses intend to boost spending in areas such as hardware, enterprise software and communications services.
Firms even plan marginally increased data centre spending this year, although this sector will see the smallest growth as businesses continue to move towards cloud computing where they use rented facilities and pay only for what they need.
Garnet’s research VP, John-David Lovelock, says popular new technologies will drive this increased spending. Firms are shifting from large data projects (organising, collecting and analysing huge amounts of data) to AI projects that sit on top of all that data.
By doing low-level, repetitive tasks, AI will help automate many jobs and free humans to concentrate on more complex issues. Fields that will be targeted first include commerce, marketing and customer service.
Another growing IT sector is IoT, or Internet of Things, where everyday objects such as washing machines, security cameras or heating systems are being fitted with apps and sensors.
Lovelock says another new trend is blockchain, which is starting to gain wider recognition beyond the cryptocurrency market. This technology established a permanent, secure, ‘distributed’ ledger which is stored in more than one place, enabling firms to conduct secure deals directly without using an intermediary. Uses include global payments, selling things digitally and supply chain transactions.
Microsoft, IBM, and startups such as Digital Asset Holdings and Ripple are already offering technologies that enable firms to create their own ledgers and blockchain apps.