Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) Spending on information technology in Taiwan for 2017 is expected to grow more than 2 percent from a year earlier largely on the back of investments in communications services, according to global market information advisory firm Gartner Inc.
In a research report called Gartner Worldwide Spending Forecast, the firm forecast that Taiwan's IT spending for this year will grow 2.1 percent from last year to NT$660.5 billion (US$20.84 billion).
In 2017, spending on communications services is expected to top spending planned by other categories, reaching NT$347.8 billion, ahead of NT$150.3 billion to be spent on devices, NT$68.2 billion on IT services, NT$61.1 billion on enterprise software and NT$33.1 billion on data center systems, Gartner said.
The expected 2.1 percent growth in IT spending, lagged behind a forecast 2.7 percent increase for the global market, Gartner said, although the latest global IT spending growth prediction for 2017 has been downgraded from 3 percent, Gartner added.
"2017 was poised to be a rebound year in IT spending. Some major trends have converged, including cloud, block chain, digital business and artificial intelligence. Normally, this would have pushed IT spending much higher than 2.7 percent growth," John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement.
However, Lovelock warned that some political uncertainty in global markets could lead many enterprises to adopt a "wait-and-see" attitude when they plan their IT budgets for this year.
While the Gartner analyst did not detail specific political uncertainties in the statement, caution about U.S. economic policy after the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Jan. 20, following his strong advocacy of protectionism, and a move by the UK to start the country's exit from the European Union in March, have been highlighted in many economic outlook reports.
Gartner said that worldwide spending on devices across a wide range of industries such as personal computers, tablet computers, ultramobile and mobile phones, could hit US$589 billion in 2017, little changed from a year earlier.
In contrast, a replacement wave in the global PC market, strong pricing power and functionality in premium ultramobiles devices are expected to drive growth in IT spending on devices in 2018, Gartner said.
In 2017, Gartner forecast that IT services spending will grow 4.2 percent from a year earlier to US$938 billion with investments in digital business, intelligent automation and services optimization and innovation continuing to drive growth in the market.
"The range of spending growth from the high to low is much larger in 2017 than in past years. Normally, the economic environment causes some level of division, however, in 2017 this is compounded by the increased level of uncertainty," Lovelock said.
"The result of that uncertainty is a division between individuals and corporations that will spend more -- due to opportunities arising -- and those that will retract or pause IT spending," the analyst said.
(By Jeffery Wu and Frances Huang)