Gartner has raised its global IT spending forecast for 2016, only to admit that its new, rosier outlook is likely to be torn to shreds by Brexit.
The analyst said its latest projection shows global IT spending being flat this year at $3.41tn (£2.6tn), up from last quarter's forecast of a 0.5 per cent decline.
Software will be the bright spot, with forecast growth of 5.8 per cent. Devices, meanwhile, will see a 5.3 per cent sales dip.
However, Gartner was quick to stress that its current forecast was made on the false assumption that the UK would vote to stay in the EU.
"With the UK's exit, there will likely be an erosion in business confidence and price increases which will affect UK, western Europe and worldwide IT spending," said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner.
Gartner did not say how much it expects Brexit to knock off its latest 2016 global spending forecast. However, for the UK specifically, Gartner now thinks spending will fall by 0.3 to 3.3 per cent, a shrinkage of between two and five per cent on its pre-Brexit prognosis.
"While the UK has embarked on a process to change, that change is yet to be defined," Lovelock said. "The 'leave' vote will quickly affect IT spending in the UK and in Europe while other changes will take longer. Staff may be the largest immediate issue. The long-term uncertainty in work status will make the UK less attractive to new foreign workers. Retaining current non-UK staff and having less access to qualified new hires from abroad will impair UK IT departments."
Gartner's latest forecast, made with its pre-Brexit hat on, has overall IT spending dead flat at $3.4tn for 2016, a vast improvement on the 5.5 per cent shrink in sales recorded in 2015.
Breaking that down, datacentre systems are set to rise 2.0 per cent to $175bn, software by 5.8 per cent to $332bn and IT services by 3.7 per cent to $898bn. In contrast, devices spend is forecast to shrivel 5.3 per cent to $627bn and communications services forecast to fall 1.4 per cent to $1.38tn.
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