Stat Watch: The New Normal in Software Spending

Worldwide IT spending is expected to undergo a slowdown this year with China set to post its first-ever decline (-0.3 percent) courtesy of price competition, economic uncertainty and other factors, according to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) - with the U.S. being the major exception.

IDC predicts the global IT market is expected to increase by just 2 percent this year after having posted annual growth of 5-6 percent since 2010. In contrast, IT spending in the U.S. is expected to remain stable, forecasted to increase by four percent for the fourth consecutive year (the "new normal" as IDC calls it), in spite of an expected decline in the PC market and weakening growth in servers and storage.

The growth is in large part due to U.S. enterprises' commitment to investments in big data, cloud, mobile and social. IDC expects the new normal of four percent annual growth in IT spending to continue in 2017.

From IDC's Worldwide Black Book, here are some highlights of IT spending in the U.S. last year:

+ Smartphones accounted for half of the overall industry growth rate of six percent in 2015.

+ Spending on cloud infrastructure was also strong throughout the year, resulting in growth of 16 percent for the server market and 10 percent for storage systems.

+ Enterprise spending on software, including software as a service (SaaS), posted healthy growth of seven percent with strong investment in analytics, security and collaborative applications.