Despite the ongoing economic malaise, Gartner sees pockets of growth in IT in Europe, mainly driven by devices and software. Big data will also change the landscape of IT – creating new jobs.
“This year is a pessimistic year for IT spending in Europe,” said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research. “In 2012, we estimate that IT spending will decline 3.6 percent in EMEA and 5.9 percent in Western Europe. However, the EMEA region will return to growth in 2013 and continue to grow through 2016 when spending will reach $1.247 trillion.”
Mr. Sondergaard provided the latest outlook for the IT industry today to an audience of more than 4,000 CIOs and IT leaders at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012, which is taking place in Barcelona through November 8.
“The mobile device market is currently the bright spot of the IT industry,” said Mr. Sondergaard. “We are seeing tablets and smartphones significantly outpace purchases of traditional PCs.”
Gartner estimates that spending on mobile devices (notebook PCs, mobile phones, ultramobiles and tablets) in EMEA will amount to $136 billion in 2012, reaching $188 billion in 2016. In Western Europe, both consumers and businesses are adding tablets to their portfolio of mobile devices - increasing the total mobile device market growth by 8 percent in 2012. This contrasts with a decline of 5 percent in the mobile PC market in Western Europe. In Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa, mobile phone shipments will dominate the market, with tablet adoption increasing through to 2016.
By 2016, two-thirds of the workforce will have a smartphone or tablet device. This will change the way consumers buy software and transform the market. Traditional software providers will have to rewrite their applications for these tablet-based environments, and there will be a strong increase in software spending. Gartner estimates that EMEA IT spending in software will grow 3.1 percent in 2013, nearly reaching the $100 billion mark in 2016.
Consumers and workers becoming more mobile will lead to a complete change of architecture. Information will expand and accelerate driven by the Nexus of Forces, becoming a higher strategic priority for businesses.
“The Nexus of Forces are the confluence and integration of cloud, mobile, social and information that will transform IT architecture and create a new information layer in our economy that will create new jobs, new revenue, and require new skills,” said Mr. Sondergaard.
Over the next three years, together with the North America and Japan, EMEA will be the most active region in using big data. By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs will be created globally to support big data, creating 1.3 million IT jobs in EMEA, including 1.2 million IT jobs in Western Europe alone.
However, public education systems, as well as training within companies, are not sufficient to satisfy that demand. “We expect that organizations will be unable to fill out these positions, and we estimate that only 31 percent of the IT jobs will be filled in Western Europe. It places a requirement on our education systems and on companies to start to train those roles. We need these kinds of roles across all businesses to analyze data and information, which will ultimately generate new revenue,” said Mr. Sondergaard.