Worldwide vertical market IT spending is projected to total $2,7-trillion in 2009, a 0,5% increase from 2008. According to Gartner, utilities, healthcare and government are expected to be the strongest-growing segments of the market this year.
"The economic slowdown triggered by the US subprime market crisis, along with fluctuating oil prices and currency exchange rates impacted many industries and countries around the world in IT spending," says John-David Lovelock, research vice-president for Gartner.
"Internal spending, hardware and system integration in the financial sector were particularly hard-hit in 2008 and will continue suffering through 2009. In contrast, healthcare grew 8,3% worldwide in 2008, and utilities grew 7,7%."
The utilities industry is forecast to grow the most in 2009 with 2,9% growth. Smart grids and energy supplies are viewed as national and strategic issues in many countries, and spending on IT is a necessity.
"The healthcare industry is expected to post the second-highest increase in 2009 with 2,2% growth. Countries in which healthcare is primarily publicly funded will be sheltered from the worst of the economic turmoil, and governments tend to keep healthcare funding at least stable during the worst economic conditions.
Uncertainty about the depth and duration of the economic slowdown dominated the banking and investment sector in the last quarter of 2008. This uncertainty led to declines and postponements in IT spending at many large financial services companies, and this is expected to continue in 2009 as worldwide financial services IT spending is forecast to decline 0,7%.
The US financial services sector is forecast to be hardest hit, however, major IT investments in less-affected countries such as Canada and Mexico and regions such as the Middle East and Africa will minimise the decline in the sector worldwide
"The slowdown in economic output (revenue) growth will continue to have a significant, but uneven, impact on IT spending across industries and within industries, as companies continue to adjust cost structures to preserve earnings. Technology service providers that go to market aware of and aligned to industry subsectors needs will perform best," says Lovelock.