Gartner: Worldwide IT spending to reach $4.5T in 2022

Expect a spending surge for cloud and IT managed services as enterprises move from COVID-19 stopgap projects to major IT investments, Gartner says.

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Research firm Gartner forecasts IT spending will reach nearly $4.5 trillion worldwide this year, with enterprise software, IT services, and data center systems leading the way. The projected $4.45 trillion in spending this year represents an increase of 5.1% compared with 2021.

The largest growth segment is enterprise software, which is projected to grow 11% to $672 billion. However, Gartner includes the cloud market in the enterprise software market, and that's where the growth is.

The cloud market became larger than non-cloud market for the first time in 2020, and by 2025, Gartner expects it to be double the size of the non-cloud market. Cloud is responsible for nearly all of the spending growth within the enterprise software segment in 2022 as organizations focus on software-as-a-service (SaaS).

Data center systems account for the smallest group by dollar amount, at $226 billion, but will represent annual growth of 4.7%. The largest IT spending market in 2022 is communications services, which is expected to reach $1.46 trillion this year with a climb of just 1.3% compared with 2021.

The managed and consultancy IT services market is in line for the second-highest spending growth in 2022. It's expected to grow by 7.9% annually to $1.28 trillion as businesses increase their reliance on external consultants to help with their cloud strategies.

“Gartner expects the vast majority of large organizations to use external consultants to develop their cloud strategy over the next few years,” said John-David Lovelock, a distinguished research vice president at Gartner, in a statement. “Staff skills gaps, wage inflation and the war for talent will push CIOs to rely more on consultancies and managed service firms to pursue their digital strategies.”

Lovelock said 2022 will be the year that “the future returns for the CIO,” meaning they stop focusing on short-term and stopgap projects and resume focusing on the long term.

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