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Global IT Spending To Hit $3.88T By 2020, Gartner Says: 5 Things To Know

Spending will be up from 2018's total global IT spending of $3.65 trillion, but flat spending on data center systems and anemic growth in spending on communications services and IT devices trumps the good growth expected for enterprise software and IT services.

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Data Center Systems Spending: Growth This Year, But Spending Drops In 2020

Data center systems spending enjoyed strong growth of 11.3 percent in 2018 over 2017, making it the fastest-growing part of overall IT spending last year. On the other hand, it was the smallest part, with revenue reaching only $202 billion.

However, data center systems spending will only grow 4.2 percent in 2019. And in 2020, spending in this category is actually slated to drop by 3.9 percent, making it the only component of IT spending to show negative growth, Gartner said.

The wild card in data center IT spending is just how quickly customers shift data center workloads to the cloud, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider.

"That’s the trend," he said. "Cloud brings customers agility, speed, and scale, and a quick time to value. And that has a certain offset to the cost of moving to the cloud. … As the Borg says, 'resistance is futile,'" he said. "It's a dynamic market. It's fun. And it's risky. We're agile, and we adjust our plans accordingly."

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