Following a 2010 during which the US tech sector grew about twice as fast as the US economy, 2011 outlook is for more of the same. Unfortunately, with the end of economic stimulus programs and a politically divided US government unlikely to provide another boost to the economy, US GDP will be hard-pressed to grow faster than 3% or so in real terms (4% or so in current dollars) in 2011. Nonetheless, the US tech industry will still grow about twice as fast as nominal GDP in 2011, at 7.4%, as investments in cloud and Smart Computing solutions provide the IT tools for companies to grow profits despite weak revenue increases. (The government market for IT will lag, though, as federal, state, and local governments struggle with high deficits.) The computer restocking and replacement boom that propelled the tech market in 2010 will slow to 5.9% growth in 2011, but software and IT consulting services will pick up the slack, with growth of 8.4% and 8.2%, respectively.
Including Telecom Services, The US Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Market Will Grow By 6.2% In 2011 And 7.7% In 2012
The ICT market adds telecommunications services to the IT market of computer and communications equipment, software, and IT consulting and outsourcing services. Given the slower
growth rate of telecommunications services, market growth estimates are lower than for the ITonly market; we forecast the broader ICT market will grow at 6.2% in 2011 and 7.7% in 2012
Within that overall market, the ICT category with the strongest growth in 2011 will be software, with 8.4% growth (a bit slower than the 9.4% growth in 2010). Software market growth will come
from the revival of licensed software purchases, ongoing growth in software-as-a-service (SaaS) software, and continued strong growth in Smart Computing platform technologies like serviceoriented
architecture (SOA infrastructure), virtualization software, and analytics.5 Computer equipment, which saw a 17.8% surge in buying in 2010 from replacement of old PCs, servers, and
storage equipment after the 2009 capital investment freeze, will slow to more measured growth of 5.9% in 2011. Communications equipment purchases will grow by a similar rate of 6.9%, with telco
purchases increasing at a slower rate and enterprise buying (except for governments) growing more rapidly. IT consulting services will track the revival in software investments with 2011 growth of
8.2%. IT outsourcing (including computer hardware maintenance and support) will have similar growth, rising by 6.8%. And telecommunications services spending will increase by 3.8%, led by
spending on wireless services.
For 2012, expect strong purchasing trends across all categories of the ICT market. Software growth will accelerate to 13%, with purchasing spreading to a wider array of new software categories.
Growth in IT consulting services will follow the rise in spending on software; however, growth of 9.1% will not be as pronounced as more vertically focused solutions and SaaS offerings reduce the
need for big software implementation projects. Computer purchases will continue to experience below-average growth of 6.8% as virtualization, information-as-a-service, and netbooks and
tablets siphon demand and spending from more expensive options. Communications equipment investment will shift up to 7.3%, driven by growth in mobile client devices that need to be supported
using unified communications and videoconferencing. IT outsourcing and telecommunications services will post moderate growth of 6.5% and 4%, respectively.
Source: Forrestor Research
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