Gloomsters at analyst house Gartner have lowered their estimates for IT spending in 2012 and forecast that a third of EU banks will go under within the next two years.
Gartner has revised downward its outlook for 2012 global IT spending to 3.7% (or $3.8 trillion) from its previous forecast of 4.6% growth, blaming the ongoing eurozone crisis and shortages in hard disc drive production for the drop in spending. In 2011, worldwide IT spending totalled $3.7 trillion, up 6.9% from 2010 levels.
Richard Gordon, research vice president at Gartner, says: "Faltering global economic growth, the eurozone crisis and the impact of Thailand's floods on hard-disk drive (HDD) production have all taken their toll on the outlook for IT spending."
The dip in confidence will be most pronounced in Europe, he says, where the uncertain outlook will lead to a 0.7% cutback in IT spending from 2011 levels.
Continuing economic and market volatility is expected to have a dramatic effect on Europe's banking industry, says the analyst house: "By 2014, major national defaults in Europe will lead to the collapse of more than one-third of European banks."
Those banks that emerge unscathed from the carnage will be operating in a radically different marketplace, defined by emerging trends in digital and cloud-based technologies.
Gartner predicts that by 2015, new, external social Web and cloud-based services will generate 25% of consumer-driven banking products and services, and that by year-end 2014, "at least one social network provider will become an insurance sales channel".