Global ICT Spending Forecast: $4.6 Trillion by 2022

Worldwide information and communications technology (ICT) spending will reach $4.6 trillion by 2022, according to a global ICT spending forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC). The growth will average 4% annually.

The firm says that organizations will spend money on digital transformation, artificial intelligence, data analytics and other advanced technologies.

ICT Spending Forecast

Commercial customers will represent about 63.5% of the spending ($2.9 trillion) and consumers about 36.5% ($1.7 trillion), according to IDC. The lagging of consumer spending behind that of business and government will be due to the saturation of smartphones and tablets.

The fastest growing area will be the professional services segment (7%), which includes cloud and digital services providers. It will be followed by media (6%), banking and retail and manufacturing (all at 5%). The slowest growth in commercial technology budgets will be by the federal government, followed by wholesale and construction.

China, which spends the most on ICT, is a key component of the ICT spending forecast. But the country’s spending patterns are more unpredictable than usual, researchers said.

“In the short term, the trade war between the U.S. and China continues to add volatility to the outlook,” Stephen Minton, the vice president in IDC’s Customer Insights & Analytics group, said in a press release. “Some firms are also facing the double whammy of weaker sales in China, an increasingly important export market for the manufacturing industry. Meanwhile, the impact in China itself could persist over a longer period of time, with manufacturing and financial services firms being the most exposed.”

IDC says that the trade war will present both challenges and opportunities. “The trade war undoubtedly presents opportunities for India’s manufacturing sector,” said Ashutosh Bisht, senior research manager for Asia/Pacific in IDC’s Customer Insights & Analysis group. “Many firms in Asia, however, will be forced to try and balance their relationship with both the U.S. and China, and will mostly suffer negatively from any escalation.”

The U.S. market will post “some of the strongest growth rates in spite of its relative maturity,” according to the press release. Investments in digital transformation, cloud and AI will enable the U.S. to grow 4.5%. That will equal Latin America as the second fastest growing region for total ICT spending after China.

Growth in Western Europe will be slightly behind emerging markets in Asia/Pacific, the firm said.


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