For startups developing software for businesses rather than consumers, pitching products to IT divisions can be a predicament: It’s often unclear who makes the final decision on purchases, and IT budgets have become notoriously tight.
Research firm Gartner is partially responsible for its shift in attitude with its frequently-cited projection that by 2017, chief marketing officers will spend more on IT than chief information officers. Startups selling software to businesses fear that they can no longer count on IT managers as customers.
With the global economic climate expected to improve, Gartner predicts that the “major retardants to IT growth will lift.” In a statement, Richard Gordan, managing vice president of Gartner, explained that uncertainties in the global market derailed IT spend and caused “pessimistic business and consumer sentiment throughout the world,” but he expects to see “accelerated business growth” by the end of the year.
Gartner’s analysts predict that IT spending will reach $3.7 trillion in 2013, up 4.2 percent from 2012. In previous forecasts, researchers only projected a 3.8 percent increase in the coming year, meaning they see cause for optimism.
Worldwide enterprise software spending is forecast to total $296 billion in 2013, up 6.4 percent from 2012. Hot technologies like security, storage management, and customer relationship management will drive some of this growth, but the global telecoms market will remain the largest IT spending market.
According to Gartner, by 2014, “big data” analytics tools will be increasingly viewed as a necessary investment.
Gartner analysts warned that some of this projected spending increase is a result of gains in the value of foreign currencies versus the dollar.
The firm revised its estimates on worldwide device spending on printers, PCs, mobile phones, and tablets. The previous forecast of $706 million is likely overblown — analysts project that spending will only reach $666 million in 2013.
The market for tablets and PCs will be hardest hit. “The tablet market has seen greater price competition from Android devices as well as smaller, low-priced devices in emerging markets,” said Gordon.