Forrester Research has declared the tech downturn of the past two years as 'unofficially over', with IT spending by business and government set to rebound in 2010.
After declining 8.2% in 2009, US IT spending will grow 6.6% in 2010 to $568 billion, forecasts the research house, while global IT spending, which dropped 8.9% last year, will rise 8.1% in 2010 to more than $1.6 trillion.
Software and computer hardware will see the greatest growth, as Forrester forecasts a new six-to-seven-year cycle of technology investment growth and innovation defined by 'Smart Computing'.
"Smart Computing rests on new foundation technologies such as service-oriented architecture, server and storage virtualisation, cloud computing, and unified communications," says Andrew Bartels, Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst.
Measured in US dollars, the strongest growth in 2010 will be in Western and Central Europe, where tech purchases will rise by 11.2%, boosted by the dollar's decline against the euro. IT purchases in Canada will grow by 9.9%, Asia Pacific by 7.8%, and Latin America by 7.7%. The weakest market will be Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, rising by just 2.4%.
When measured against local currency, however, the US will actually post the strongest growth of all the regional tech markets, predicts Forrester.
With regard to sector growth, hardware and software will lead the charge. Global purchases of computer equipment will be up 8.2%, communications equipment buying will rise by 7.6%, software spending will increase by 9.7%, purchases of IT consulting and systems integration services will grow by 6.8%, and IT outsourcing services will be 7.1% higher.
"The technology downturn of 2008 and 2009 is unofficially over," concludes Bartels. "All the pieces are in place for a 2010 tech spending rebound."