IT Market Report Sees Apple Chipping Away at Microsoft's Share

A newly published report by Forrester Research on the global technology market predicts a slowdown followed by an uptick in IT spending over the next two years.

The report, "Global Tech Market Outlook for 2012 and 2013," is written for professionals in the industry and tracks spending on IT products and services. For instance, it projects spending on PCs, servers and software, as well as consulting, system integration and outsourcing services.

Apple In, Cloud Out
One potential disruptor in the IT market is the growing business adoption of Apple iPads and Macs, which is displacing Microsoft's grip on the corporate market with PCs. This developing trend is one of the more interesting predictions in the report, which notes that Apple doesn't provide public information about the business vs. consumer purchases of their hardware products.

The report came up with its own estimate of Apple's corporate marketshare. Apple was expected to have sold $6 billion each of Macs and iPads to companies in 2011. Forrester's report predicts those figures will rise to $9 billion Macs and $10 billion iPads in 2012. In 2013, those numbers will hit $12 billion and $16 billion, respectively.

In contrast to those figures, over the next two years, there will be a decrease in corporate spending on Windows-based PCs and tablets. Corporate "Wintel" spending will decrease by three percent in 2012 and one percent in 2013, according to the report. Apple's projected rise in the corporate market is considered to be a "surprise" by the report's authors because Apple doesn't do much marketing in that segment.

The report also downplayed cloud computing, or the deployment of infrastructure-as-a-service, as a growing IT trend.

"Yes, the cloud will be big -- but in 2016, not in 2012," the report states (p. 27).

Cloud spending on platform as a service, infrastructure as a service and software as a service remains somewhat low right now, the authors contend. The report poured cold water on the idea that small business love using SaaS, saying that they don't because they fear hanging their business operations on their Internet connections.

IT Economics in the Near Term
According to the report, global IT spending grew nearly 10 percent in 2011, but a slowdown to five percent is expected in 2012. A rebound is predicted for 2013, with IT spending expected to rise to eight percent. This rollercoaster effect is attributed to damping effects on growth, mostly associated with Europe's economic situation. The report predicts a European economic recovery in 2013 that may accelerate global markets.

The United States will still represent the biggest market for IT services and products in 2012. The overall U.S. IT market is expected to be worth $807 billion total at that time, according to Forrester's report. However, it won't be the fastest growing market. China has that distinction, with a projected 14 percent growth rate in 2012, according to the report. The U.S. projected growth rate, by contrast, is expected to be seven percent in that year.

New global technology purchases will total $2,122 billion in 2012, according to the report. The biggest chunk of that total will be software purchases, constituting 25 percent at $529 billion. Computer equipment purchases will place second, representing 21 percent of purchases at $438 billion. Next are consulting and system integration services at $427 billion, or 20 percent of expected purchases.

The report also looks at the data based on local currencies. The authors recommend that vendor pros use that approach in estimating markets. Doing so affects the valuations in the report.

Much more analysis can be found in the report, located at Forrester's site here.



About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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