Australian IT spending set to increase 3.5% next year

| November 13, 2018

Spending on information technology (IT) products and services in Australia is forecast to reach almost A$93 billion in 2019, an increase of 3.5 percent from 2018, slightly higher than the global average growth rate of 3.2 percent, according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc.

Gartner analysts are discussing the emerging trends that are driving digital transformation and IT spending during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Australia this week.

“While currency volatility and the potential for trade wars are still playing a part in the outlook for IT spending, it’s the shift from ownership to service that is sending ripples through every segment of the forecast,” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner.

“What this signals, for example, is more enterprise use of cloud services — instead of buying their own servers, they are turning to the cloud. As enterprises continue their digital transformation efforts, shifting to ‘pay for use’ will continue. This sets enterprises up to deal with the sustained and rapid change that underscores digital business.”

According to Gartner, 28 percent of spending within key enterprise IT markets globally will shift to the cloud by 2022, up from 19 percent in 2018.

Enterprise software spending is forecast to experience the highest growth with a 10.4 percent increase in 2019 (see Table 1). Devices spending is forecast to decline slightly in 2018 and 2019. Despite small increases in average selling prices across all devices in Australia, unit volumes are declining. Enterprises are buying fewer PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Steadily increasing lifespans across all devices is translating into a lower replacement rates. This trend is unlikely to reverse.

Table 1. IT Spending Forecast, Australia (Billions of Australian Dollars)




Growth (%)




Growth (%)

2019 Spending 2019

Growth (%)

Data Centre Systems 2.7 2.5  2.9 5.0  3.0 2.3
Devices 12.1 3.6  12.0 -0.08  11.8 -1.6
Enterprise Software 13.3 8.1  14.4 8.3  15.9 10.4
IT Services 31.6 3.5  33.0 4.3  34.4 4.4
Communications Services 27.4 0.03  27.6 0.07  27.9 1.2
Overall IT 87.1 3.1  89.8 3.1  93.0 3.5

Note: Totals may not add up due to rounding.

Source: Gartner (October 2018)

Despite lagging the United States by six years for cloud spending (as a percentage of total enterprise IT spending), Australia is typifying the growth and spending patterns of a country shifting quickly to digital business.

Application software represents 33 percent of the incremental spending on IT every year from 2019 through 2022. A subset of IT services, including consulting, implementation and managed services, and cloud infrastructure services, represents on average 37 percent of incremental spending.

Enterprises are shifting from capital expenditure (capex) and commoditised technology such as fixed and mobile communications services, toward investment in technologies that advance digital business, such as cloud, security and advanced analytics including augmented and artificial intelligence.

In 2018, spending on data centre systems is expected to grow 5 percent, buoyed by a strong server market. However, in 2019 servers will begin to decline again. This, in turn, will impact overall data centre systems spending as growth slows to 3 percent in 2019.

IT services represents the largest category of IT spending in Australia and is also showing healthy growth. The market is forecast to reach $34.4 billion in 2019, an increase of 4.4 percent from 2018.

An expected global slowdown in economic prosperity, paired with internal pressures to cut spending, is driving organisations to optimise enterprise external spend for business services such as consulting.

In a recent Gartner study, 46 percent of organisations indicated that IT services and supplier consolidation was in their top three most-effective cost-optimisation approaches.

More detailed data is available to Gartner clients in “Gartner Market Databook, 3Q18 Update.” Analysis on the outlook for the global IT industry is available in the Gartner webinar “IT Spending Forecast, 3Q18 Update: Ride the Innovation Wave.”