Gartner says IT consultants are in demand, but global IT spending remains lackluster (Photo: Gartner)

Global IT spending is set to rise 3 pc in 2012 to 3.6 trillion dlrs, with investments in cloud-based services posting particularly strong growth, according to a Gartner forecast.

The market researchers said the increase is slightly higher than the 2.5 pc growth they forecast earlier this year.

Gartner said the overall outlook for IT spending remains "lackluster," but it cited high growth expectations for cloud-based services. These are expected to grow to 109 billion dlrs in 2012 from 91 billion dlrs last year. By 2016, corporate spending on public cloud services should reach 207 billion dlrs, Gartner said.

The analysts said global economic concerns, including worries about the  future of the euro, a slowdown in China and a weaker than expected US recovery continue to be factors that hold back IT investment. "There has been little change in either business confidence or consumer sentiment in the past quarter, so the short-term outlook is for continued caution in IT spending." said Richard Gordon, research vice president at Gartner.

In the area of cloud services, the market researchers said business process as a service (BPaaS) accounts for the vast majority of corporate cloud spending. But Gartner also cited fast growth for software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

Overall, global IT spending on services is set to grow 2.3 pc to 864 billion dlrs this year, with demand for consulting high because of the growing complexity of global businesses. Gartner said consulting is increasingly focused on analytics and big data.

The global telecommunications services market continues to be the single biggest sector when it comes to IT spending. Gartner said companies are investing in connectivity and are adding a broader range of connected devices.