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Gartner announced revised estimates for worldwide IT Spending โ€“ and the outlook is more positive than previously thought. On the heels of recent economic news that shows recovery in hiring numbers as well as surges in the stock market, the analyst firm says that worldwide IT spending is set to increase this year by more than five percent with an anticipated total of $3.6 trillion worldwide.

Gartner says the revised growth rates, originally set at 3.5 percent for 2011 have shifted upwards due to a number of factors. First, the global IT industry performed better in 2010 than previously thought, increasing 5.4 percent over the course of the year to total $3.4 trillion as opposed to the originally anticipated 3.2 percent. Secondly, the analyst firm says that fluctuations in global currency exchange rates continue to affect the US-dollar dominated forecast. In fact, 1.6 percent of the increase in 2010 was attributable to the devaluation of the US dollar.

The hottest and biggest growth markets for 2011 span the gamut of services and products. The largest growth sector, however, the analyst firm says, will be telecom equipment. That space is anticipated to achieve a 9.1 percent increase this year alone. Also, mobile device sales show no chance of slowing. Gartner places mobile device sales in the same category as computing hardware, and forecasts a growth rate of 7.5 percent. However, the analyst firm says that although mobile device sales are growing rapidly, PC sales are slowed as more ubiquitous computing devices like tablets and smartphones hit the market.  Other markets to watch for substantial growth in 2011 include IT Services at a projected 4.6 percentage rate, enterprise software at 7.5 percentage rate, and telecom services at 3.4 percentage rate.

Although increased IT spending is expected, the analyst firm warns companies to remain cautious.

“Aided by favorable U.S. dollar exchange rates, global IT spending growth is expected to exceed 5 percent in 2010, but a similar level of growth in 2011 โ€” while forecast โ€” is far from certain, given continued macroeconomic uncertainty,” said Richard Gordon, research VP, Gartner. “There are also growing concerns about the ability of key emerging economies to sustain relatively high growth rates. Nevertheless, as well as a fundamental enabler of cost reduction and cost optimization, investment in IT is seen increasingly as an important element in business growth strategies. As the global economy repairs itself in coming years, we are optimistic about continued healthy spending on IT.”