As organizations turn to data analytics and other information technology solutions to help them navigate the world’s “stormy economic waters,” IT spending across the globe is expected to grow from $2.46 trillion in 2015 to more than $2.8 trillion in 2019. So says IDC’s “Worldwide Semiannual IT Spending Guide,” released on Thursday.

North American organizations will spend the most, with IT spending to top the $1 trillion mark in 2017, the Framingham, Mass. firm said. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will be the second largest region followed closely by Asia/Pacific.

Latin America will be the fastest growing region with a compound annual growth rate of 4.3%, while IT spending in North America will grow at a 3.8% pace. Asia/Pacific and EMEA will both grow more slowly than the overall market, which is forecast to have a growth rate of 3.3%.

“With the global economy entering a new and uncertain phase, IT spending will be heavily influenced by economic cycles and wild cards over the next five years,” Stephen Minton, IDC’s vice president, customer insights and analysis, said in a press release.

“Recent sluggishness in China has caused severe disruption for emerging markets, while the collapse in oil prices continues to challenge energy producers and stock market volatility poses new questions for investment firms. In many industries, business leaders will turn to IT solutions, including data analytics and infrastructure optimization, to help them navigate the stormy economic waters.”

The discrete manufacturing, banking, and telecommunications industries will spend the most, to be followed by process manufacturing, federal/central governments, and professional services. However, the healthcare sector will have the fastest rate of growth in IT spend, with a five-year growth rate of 5.5%. Banking and insurance are tied with media and the resource industries for the industries with the second fastest-growing IT spending, each with a five-year growth rate of 4.6%.

By product category, software spending will have the fastest growth rate, at 6.7%, followed by business services at 6.2%. In contrast, hardware and IT services spending will grow at rates slower than the overall market.

Within the software segment, applications that facilitate enterprise operations, such as enterprise resource management and and manufacturing applications, will receive the greatest share of software spending. The fastest growing software categories will be network software; collaborative applications; and data access, analytics and delivery applications.

Hardware will remain the largest market segment overall with roughly 40% of all IT expenditures going to devices, infrastructure, and telecom hardware. Telecom hardware including smartphones will represent more than half of all hardware spending through the forecast while PCs will remain an important category of IT spending despite a five-year growth rate of -1.6%. Spending on enterprise infrastructure will be driven by solid growth in the server and storage segments with growth rates of 2.6% and 3.2%, respectively.

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