The IT market staged a healthy rebound last year, with global spending on IT products and services rising 8 percent from 2009 to more than $1.5 trillion, according to IDC's Worldwide Black Book report out today.
The market research firm's 2010 numbers showed the fastest growth rate for the IT industry since 2007.
Factoring in the telecommunications segment, the overall ICT (information and communications technology) market saw spending climb to almost $3 trillion, up 6 percent from 2009. Growth was driven by the need and ability among businesses to finally spend money to refresh their hardware and invest in their technology infrastructures, according to IDC.
"Like the global economy, the global IT industry performed better than expected in 2010," Stephen Minton, vice president of IDC's IT markets and strategies group, said in a statement. "With business profits and stock markets back into a cycle of growth, many organizations took the opportunity to make up for lost time by upgrading mission critical systems and infrastructure over the course of the year."
Overall, IDC found the recovery in the IT market more pronounced than those following previous recessions.
Demand for new hardware drove 2010's rebound, as spending on computers, peripherals, storage technology, mobile devices, and network equipment rose by 16 percent to more than $661 billion, the fastest growth rate for hardware since 1996, said IDC. Breaking down the results, spending on storage products alone grew by 14 percent, spending on servers by 9 percent, and spending on PCs by 11 percent.
Spending on software, though not as robust, also rose by 4 percent, while spending on IT services grew by 2 percent.
IT spending in the U.S. rose by 6 percent last year and should grow by another 5 percent in 2011. But developing economies were the force behind much of the growth in 2010 and should continue to be so in 2011.
Not counting Japan, the Asia/Pacific region's IT market climbed by 13 percent last year, with a 10 percent increase expected this year. IDC is also looking for double-digit growth from Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
IT spending in more developed economies, such as Western Europe, Japan, and Canada, will grow, but at slower rates, IDC said. Ongoing high levels of unemployment will dampen the ability to invest heavily in IT products and services, though companies will still spend on certain projects and services, such as cloud computing, mobile devices, and business analytics software.
Looking ahead, IDC sees the overall IT market growing by 7 percent this year to $1.65 trillion. Spending on hardware will once again lead the way by rising 10 percent, while spending on software and IT services should rise by 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively, it predicts.