Global IT spending set to reach $5 trillion in 2024 amid optimistic industry outlook

IT spending concept art showing 3d tablet and virtual growth arrow on digital technology strategy background
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Global IT spending is expected to reach $5 trillion in 2024 according to new research by Gartner, rebuffing fears that the sector spending was flagging. 

The total constitutes an overall increase of 6.8% compared to a growth rate of almost half in 2023 (3.3%).

A breakdown of IT spending in both years shows that, for the first time ever, spending on services surpassed spending on communications by just under $30,000 (£23,678), making it the largest area of spending.

Devices showed the highest rate of growth at 12.7%, followed by IT services at 8.7% and data center systems at 7.5%. While data center systems remained the lowest spending in real terms at $261,332 (£206,025), communications services saw the smallest rate of growth at 2.3%.

Gartner said the figures represent a robust improvement in the industry, though at least one issue of 2023 will likely persist - mainly ‘change fatigue’.

Previous research from Gartner has highlighted that, while 75% of organizations expect the number of major firm-wide changes to increase over the next three years, only 34% of these changes are clear successes.

Contending with higher levels of effort and poorer results, CIOs become disillusioned by the idea of developing their business, creating growth loss as a result of change fatigue.

While 2024 looks to be more enthusiastic, change fatigue could begin to manifest itself as “change resistance” according to Gartner. Industry uncertainty could create a hesitance to commit to projects or sign off on large-scale initiatives.

IT spending driven by "traditional forces"

While some may have expected generative AI to drive IT spending in some areas, Gartner's research shows that the technology has had little impact.

Research from the consultancy last year showed that the generative AI had "no material impact" on IT spending in 2023, and this trend was expected to continue into 2024. 

Instead, IT spending across the year is likely to be driven by more "traditional forces", according to John-David Lovelock, VP analyst at Gartner.


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“While GenAI will change everything, it won’t impact IT spending significantly, similar to IoT, blockchain and other big trends we have experienced,” he said. 

“2024 will be the year when organizations actually invest in planning for how to use Gen AI,” he added. “However, IT spending will be driven by more traditional forces, such as profitability, labor, and dragged down by a continued wave of change fatigue.”

Huge AI energy costs aren’t attractive to IT departments, while large upfront investments and problems with generative AI hallucinations also remain appealing to those making decisions about IT spending.

Areas much more likely to drive IT spending include cloud services, with a global spending increase of 20.4% predicted in 2024.

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.