Forrester has downgraded its worldwide IT spending forecast for this year, which the research company says represents an opportunity for CIOs to cut good deals with technology vendors looking to bounce back from poor first-half performances.
The analyst house says growth will be 3.3% in US dollars, rather than 6.2% previously forecast. Total spending will be $2.2 trillion.
Forrester blamed a weak first half for its downgrade, but said growth should pick up in the remainder of the year.
Advanced economies such as the US and UK, which are part of what Forrester calls the Tech Twelve, "will be the locomotive that pulls the rest of the tech train," vice president and principal analyst Andrew Bartels said. Smaller tech markets such as Latin America will have higher relative growth rates than the US, but not the same appetite to try out new technologies, he added.
Tech products and services focused on customer processes will see the strongest growth this year, rising 9.6% to $297 billion, and there are valid reasons for this outcome, according to the report.
"With increased pressures to respond to new customer demands and expectations rippling through the advanced economies, firms will emphasise investments in customer-process technologies, especially CRM [customer-relationship-management] and marketing automation SaaS [software-as-a-service] apps, mobile applications, and analytics and big data for identifying ways to win, serve, and retain customers," Bartels said.
That said, nearly 50% of spending on customer-process technologies will occur in the US, he added.
Technology focused on employee processes, which include business applications, PCs, tablets, smartphones and related consulting services, will rise 2.3% globally to $1 trillion.
Spending on IT infrastructure is now set to tick up 2.5% this year to $917 billion, according to Forrester.
The report's conclusions should be viewed in the proper context by IT buyers, according to the report.
"CIOs may interpret the lowering of our tech market growth forecast as a signal to slow their own tech spending," Bartels said. "That would be a mistake. In most countries, the bulk of the slowdown in growth has already occurred in the first half of 2014."
There should be enough of an uptick in growth now "to be able to invest in new projects and initiatives based on smart and mobile technologies in the second half while taking advantage of vendors' willingness to cut good deals because of their poor first-half performance."