IT spending worldwide will reboot in 2010, rising 8.1 percent after last year's 8.9 percent freefall, Forrester Research predicts in a report released Tuesday.
Businesses and governments are expected to spend $1.6 trillion on information technology throughout 2010, Forrester predicts. In the U.S. alone, IT spending is likely to grow 6.6 percent this year to $568 billion after last year's drop of 8.2 percent.
The largest gains are expected to be in computer hardware and software. Purchases of computer equipment globally will increase by 8.2 percent, while communications hardware will see growth rise by 7.6 percent. Spending on software should shoot up by 9.7 percent.
Other segments will also rebound. Providers of IT consulting and systems integration should see spending climb by 6.8 percent, and IT consulting services are expected to enjoy growth of 7.1 percent.
"The technology downturn of 2008 and 2009 is unofficially over," Andrew Bartels, Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst, said in a statement. "All the pieces are in place for a 2010 tech spending rebound. In the U.S., the tech recovery will be much stronger than the overall economic recovery, with technology spending growing at more than twice the rate of gross domestic product this year."
Across the globe, Europe is being eyed as the most robust region for IT spending this year, Forrester said. Measured in U.S. dollars, technology spending in western and central Europe will jump by 11.2 percent, helped by the dollar's decline against the euro.
IT spending in Canada will rise by 9.9 percent, Asia Pacific by 7.8 percent, and Latin America by 7.7 percent. Growth will be weaker in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, inching up just 2.4 percent.
Measured against local currency, IT spending in the U.S. will actually see the heaviest growth among all regions, Forrester said.
Beyond 2010, new "smart computing" initiatives will power up a cycle of growth in IT for the next six to seven years, predicts Forrester. Merging context-aware applications with business analytics will make platforms, such as cloud computing, smarter.
"Smart computing rests on new foundation technologies such as service-oriented architecture, server and storage virtualization, cloud computing, and unified communications," Bartels said. "2010 marks the beginning of this next phase of technology advancement."