IT spending in most of APAC projected to grow

Photo by Burak K

According to the latest data released by IDC’s Worldwide Black Book: Live Edition, IT spending for Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) is projected to grow by 4.4% in 2023, up from 3.8 % in 2022, despite uncertainties.

Consumer sentiment and spending were directly impacted due to a weaker economic outlook, ongoing inflation, and higher prices. Consumer technology spending forecast has been reduced for the sixth consecutive month. Enterprises and service providers appear resilient but cautious in the face of growing economic pressure.

The reopening of China in 4Q22 brightens the outlook for the region and the global economy. Monetary policy tightening is slowing, and rate hikes by central banks in the region are declining, which has boosted the prospects of enterprise investment decisions. Despite weakening external demand, domestic demand remains strong.

“Enterprise budgeted spending is currently healthy. Enterprises in the region will either continue to invest as planned or increase their budget in 2023,” says Vinayaka Venkatesh, Senior Market Analyst at IDC IT Spending Guides, Customer Insights & Analysis. “They will, however, closely monitor current economic behavior since there is no recession-proof ROI, and they will either reduce or postpone spending,” Venkatesh added.

Consumer IT spending (related to consumer purchases of mobiles, tablets, PCs, wearables, and peripherals) is seeing a painful year of growth decline by 2.1% year on year in 2023, up from a growth decline of 2.6% in 2022.

Smartphones account for 72% of the overall consumer market, which saw a significant drop in shipments in 2022-23 due to higher inflation and an economic slowdown that discouraged consumer demand. However, despite the decline, the shipments of 5G-powered handsets continued to grow.

Furthermore, a similar trend is expected in traditional PCs (including desktops, notebooks, and workstations) market growth in 2023. Rising living costs and contractionary monetary policies continue to drive consumer spending toward non-discretionary items. The immediate concerns are the lower demand, excess channel inventory, weaker economic outlook and ongoing inflation.

Enterprises and service providers remain flat, with 9.8% growth in 2023 compared to 9.8% in 2022, as consumer slowdown spreads to commercial segments devices such as PCs and peripherals. Smaller deal volumes and delayed purchases in the commercial segments are being caused by fulfilled demand, cost savings, and difficult economic conditions.

China contributes to 51% of the overall market share, and its economic outlook has improved significantly since reopening in 4Q22; thus, China markets have grown rapidly in 2023, with a growth rate of 12.9% compared to 6.5% in 2022 for the Enterprise and Service Provider segments. Enterprise will increase their spending in the face of slowing economic conditions.

However, they will be ready to scale back quickly if necessary. Their immediate concerns are being unable to access IT hardware (e.g., PCs, peripherals, data center infrastructure) due to supply chain constraints, staffing/labor shortage, and managing demand for cloud subscriptions in line with budgeting plans.