Global ICT Spending

2007 - 2017 ($3.8T in 2017)


Worldwide ICT spending has grown by less than 5% every year since the financial crisis in 2009. Growth of just over 4% in 2017 represented an improvement on the previous year, thanks to a significant capital spending cycle driven by cloud and mobile, but this was still barely faster than GDP. Traditional IT and telecom markets now represent an increasingly mature sector of the economy and are projected to broadly track GDP over the next decade.

Worldwide ICT spending

However, new categories related to IoT, robotics, AR/VR, AI and 3D printing are set to drive a dramatic acceleration in industry growth. Including these new technologies, the tech industry will once again be growing 2-3 times faster than the overall economy by 2020 and will exceed 3 x GDP in the next 10 years as these fast-growing categories account for a growing share of industry revenues (more than $2 trillion in net new annual spending by the next decade).

Traditional Technologies

Traditional Technologies Overview
Technology 2017 Spend $M
Hardware $996,376
Software $477,615
Services $971,434
Telecom $1,412,303

New ICT Markets

New ICT Markets Overview
Technology 2017 Spend $M
3D Printing $9,970
AR/VR $12,373
AI $9,119
IoT $672,575
Robotics $83,367
3D Printing $9,970

IoT (Internet of Things) spending is reaching critical mass and mainstream adoption across many industries, having been driven largely by manufacturing use cases in the last few years. China, with its large and innovative manufacturing base, emerged as an early leader in IoT deployments. The market is now at a turning point, with many companies ramping up their investments in both new technologies (like sensors) and related ICT infrastructure (like server/storage).

AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality) is expanding rapidly, driven by a combination of new consumer devices (e.g. virtual reality gaming) and commercial solutions (e.g. in the retail, manufacturing and transport industries). Businesses are becoming more interested in the both augmented and virtual reality use cases, and many companies are testing new technologies in preparation for the next generation of devices.

AI (artificial intelligence) has seen a rush of investment and venture capital in recent years, as interest in this new platform reaches fever pitch. A key component of digital transformation strategies, AI is seen as the next major evolution in the economic benefits of ICT. Forward-looking businesses in every industry are evaluating how to integrate AI with their digital strategy, although US firms emerged as a clear leader in terms of early adoption thanks for strong local ecosystems and software innovation.

Robotics has been driven by major advances in product development over the past few years, with industrial robots becoming more intelligent and easy to integrate with business use cases. The manufacturing industry still leads the way, especially in Asia, but adoption is also increasing in industries such as transport and mining. Robotics is often integrated with adoption of AI, IoT and cloud to create compelling economic benefits.

3D Printing has been around for longer than many realize but has now matured into a mainstream commercial technology which has moved well beyond prototyping and experimentation. 3D Printers are being adopted rapidly by manufacturing firms in countries like Germany, and a new ecosystem of related supplies and services is emerging as a significant market segment.

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