Enterprise IT spend in Australia will rebound next year and total more than $95 billion across all sectors, according to Gartner, which is forecasting a 3.6 per cent rise.

Enterprise IT spend fell an expected 2.8 per cent in 2020, according to the analysts, after steep drops in manufacturing and natural resources and transportation sectors during the pandemic. 

Source: Gartner

Those sectors had more difficulty responding to COVID because it is not always physically possible to shut down a site, says Gartner distinguished research vice president, Kristian Steenstrup.

“These companies are in the top three sectors for technology spending in Australia, but as they are designed for continuous operation they simply can’t respond to external factors as quickly as a retailer, for example,” Mr. Steenstrup. “The physical nature of asset intensive industries makes it harder for employees to work from home. 

Steenstrup says some companies in these hardest hit industries will spend up in 2021 to be better prepared for the next disruption.

“Looking ahead, we’re seeing strong interest from CIO clients in technologies such as proximity tracking to enable fast response to outbreaks and in the longer-term remote monitoring and control of equipment. Analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) will also attract investment next year.”

IT Spend back up

Enterprise IT spending across all industry sectors in Australia will grow 3.6 per cent to reach more than A$95.8 billion in 2021, according to Gartner. The forecast includes internal IT spending on staff and external spending on data centre systems, software, IT services, telecom services and devices across 11 key industries and 35 subindustries.

The only industry Gartner expects to reduce growth in enterprise IT spending is Utilities, which will fall four per cent but still spend around $3.4 billion.

The biggest spenders on enterprise IT are the banking and securities, and communications, media and services sector, which will spend $19.3 billion and $18.5 billion respectively.

The biggest turnaround comes in the Australian transport sector. This year transport IT spend is expected to fall 15.5 points to $4.78 billion but is forecasted to increase 10.4 points to $5.28 billion next year.

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