IT departments will spend $3.8 trillion next year — here’s where that money’s going

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Global IT spending is forecast to hit $3.8 trillion in 2019, up 3.2% from the $3.69 trillion companies are expected to spend this year, according to newly-released Gartner data.

While corporate budgets continue to boom, Gartner’s projection for 2019 IT spending actually represents a slowdown in growth. Gartner forecasts that spending in 2018 will ultimately grow 4.5% from 2017, while actual growth in 2017 was up 3.9% from 2016. And so, a year-over-year gain of 3.2% is a notable dropping-off.

Communications services — which includes everything from landline and mobile telephone services, to cloud communication tools like Zoom — is projected to take in $1.4 trillion in 2019, more than a third of overall spending for the year. But spending in that area is expected to grow just 1.2% from 2018.

The fastest-growing segment is enterprise software, which is projected to rake in $439 billion next year. This bucket includes customer relationship management software like Salesforce, as well as financial management and HR software like Workday.

Companies are expected to increase spending in enterprise software by 8.3% in 2019, following 9.9% projected growth in 2018, and 10.4% growth in 2017.

Even spending on data center systems, which have lost their edge thanks to growing corporate reliance on public clouds, is expected to grow by 1.6%. This is down from 6% growth projected in 2018, and the 6.4% growth realized in 2017.

This year’s expected IT growth is “buoyed by a strong server market,” according to Gartner. However, the steep decline in 2019 reflects the fact that the server market is expected to slow down once again, according to the report.

Here’s the full forecast:

Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

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