Information technology (IT) spending - additional information
In retrospect, 2015 was a strong year for information technology, with spending increasing across all segments. Both hardware and software spending grew strongly, increasing by 6.6 and 6.7 percent respectively. IT services spending experienced more modest growth, but offered stability in return, with forecasts suggesting 3 percent growth in the segment in 2016. The winner of 2016 appears to be packaged software, which is expected to experience further high levels of year-on-year IT spending growth, increasing by a further 6.6 percent. In contrast, hardware spending is expected to stagnate, growing by 0.4 percent.
The lack of growth from the IT hardware segment may trouble some companies, as hardware is the largest IT segment. It encompasses the physical components that go into IT use and infrastructure, ranging from PCs, tablets, and phones, to servers, printers, disks, and wireless routers. Spending on hardware is forecast to approach 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars in 2016. Of the three segments, it has the most even geographical distribution. Around a third of IT hardware spending occurs in the Asia Pacific, with North America representing a further 26 percent of global spending.
The second largest segment, IT services, covers the wide variety of professional services that are involved in the planning, management, and operation of IT processes, systems, software, and equipment. In 2016, IT services spending is expected to exceed 700 billion U.S. dollars worldwide. As with the packaged software segment, which is forecast to reach 476 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, IT services spending is concentrated in North America. North America is currently the source of around 40 percent of global IT services spending, with Western Europe representing a further 31 percent. In terms of software, North America is currently the source of around half of all packaged software spending, with Western Europe being the second largest market.