Global spending on information technology (IT) is expected to reach US$3.8 trillion next year, driven by growth in connected devices ranging from jewelry to refrigerators, researchers said on Monday.
A report by the research firm Gartner said next year’s IT spending is expected to increase 3.6 percent from this year.
The vast expansion of digital devices will affect just about every industry in what is described as the digital industrial economy, according to Gartner researcher Peter Sondergaard. Sondergaard said this means every company will become a technology company in an era of the “Internet of things.”
“Digitalization exposes every part of your business and its operations to these forces,” he said. “It is how you reach customers and constituents, how you run your physical plant and how you generate revenue or deliver services. Enterprises doing this today are setting themselves apart and will collectively lead the new digital industrial economy.”
Gartner said that in 2009, there were 2.5 billion devices with unique IP addresses connected to the Internet; most of them cellphones and computers. In 2020, there will be up to 30 billion devices, most of which will be other products.
Gartner predicts that the total economic value for the Internet of things will be US$1.9 trillion dollars in 2020, benefiting a wide range of industries such as healthcare, retail and transportation.
“Computing power will be cheap and covert. We won’t know it is there. It will be in our jewelry and in our clothing,” Sondergaard said. “We will throw more computers into our laundry in a week than we’ve used in our lifetimes so far.”
Gartner said that by 2017, new device categories such as mobile phones, tablets, and ultra-mobile PCs will represent more than 80 percent of device spending.