Photograph by Bill Hinton—Moment Editorial/Getty Images
By Jonathan Vanian
August 30, 2016

Companies may not be buying as much hardware for their data centers as they used to, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t spending money on information technology.

Analyst firm International Data Corporation said Monday that global spending on I.T. products and services will reach $2.7 trillion in 2020, a 12.5% increase from the projected $2.4 trillion in sales for 2016.

Financial services and manufacturing companies will be big buyers of cloud computing, mobile technology, and data analytics services and will contribute the most to overall IT spending, according to IDC. The telecommunication industry is also expected play a big role, and when combined with manufacturing and financial services, will “generate nearly a third of worldwide IT revenues throughout the forecast,” the report said.

“While the consumer and public sectors have dragged on overall I.T. spending so far in 2016, we see stronger momentum in other key industries including financial services and manufacturing,” IDC vice president of customer insights and analysis Stephen Minton said in a statement.

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A quarter of all I.T. sales in 2015 were driven by consumer purchases of smartphones, the report said. However, the authors noted that consumer spending on those devices has fallen in 2016 along with sales of personal computers and tablets. If the smartphone or tablet market eventually rebounds, IDC projects that it will be because businesses are buying the devices rather than just consumers.

IDC also said that companies with over 1,000 employees will account for over 45% of global I.T. spending in 2020, while businesses with 100 to 999 employees “will see the fastest growth in IT spending.”

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“Meanwhile, the strongest growth is still among mid-sized companies, which are more nimble than very large enterprises and less exposed to economic volatility than the smallest businesses,” Minton said.

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