IT Spending to Grow at This Stunning Rate in 2011

Information technology research and advisory company Gartner Inc. (NYSE:IT) reports that worldwide spending on IT products and services will grow by 7.1% in 2011, revised upwards from earlier analyst projections of 5.6%. Global IT spending will total $846 billion this year, according to the company’s estimates, a 6.6% increase from last year. Computer Hardware and Enterprise Software will lead the sector’s products in growth, projected to rise at clips of 11.7% and 9.5%.

Gartner’s VP of Research Richard Gordon commented, “It is a bit surprising that we have not seen a more significant impact on our global IT spending forecast as a results of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, but despite widespread concerns about disruptions to the supply of critical components in the initial aftermath of the natural disaster, there has not been a dramatic impact on overall IT spending. For 2011 as a whole, we expect Japan IT spending to be down in local currency, but we expect a positive growth trend to emerge in the second half of the year and continue into 2012.”

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Spending on cloud computing products and services will grow at a rate of 4x the larger IT sector this year, estimated to total $89 billion in 2011 and over $150 billion by 2015. Though exciting, the mainstream move to the cloud will only account for 2% of total IT spending this year. Gordon adds, “Nevertheless, the emergence and adoption of cloud is an important trend, and in some markets, it’s already a significant factor.” Gartner will release more details and updated projections on the sector next week in its webinar, “IT Spending Forecast, 2Q11 Update.”

IT stocks to keep an eye on: IBM (NYSE:IBM), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), EMC (NYSE:EMC), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL)

And big name cloud computing interests: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Rackspace (NYSE:RAX), Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX), NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP).

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