IDC predicts healthy growth of European ICT spending in 2021

The new monthly edition of Worldwide Black Book Live published by International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that ICT spending in Europe in 2020 ended with a slight positive growth rate of 0.7% over 2019, reaching $945.62 billion.


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However, further improvement is expected in 2021, with an annual increase of 4.5% to total $988.29 billion, due to the continuing recovery in almost all technology markets.

Devices and software both performed relatively well last year, given the unfavorable economic situation. In fact, they are among the technology segments that saved the overall ICT market in Europe from an annual decline. Furthermore, IDC's expectations for both technologies are optimistic in 2021. All subcategories of devices (PCs, tablets, mobile phones, hardcopy peripherals, and PC monitors) will see increased demand this year, with a combined year-on-year growth of 12.4% by the end of 2021. This is due to the ongoing strong demand in the notebook and tablet categories from sectors like education and government, as well as from some private organizations.

One of the issues that inhibited growth on the European mobile phone market in 2020 was related to supply chain disruptions. Nevertheless, this market performed much better during the first quarter of 2021, and together with the more positive expectations for the next quarters, IDC predicts that spending on mobile phones will more than 10% by the end of this year.

Continuing consumer demand will keep the hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market in Europe relatively stable in 2021, although issues like low availability in the channels will inhibit sales. IDC therefore predicts moderate year-on-year growth of 0.4% in this segment for 2021.

"The economic recession caused by the pandemic delayed previously started DX initiatives in many companies last year," says Lubomir Dimitrov, senior research analyst for IDC Customer Insights & Analysis. "But digitalization processes will continue and even accelerate this year, and this includes cloud adoption. In terms of software, the strong demand for applications related to human capital management, advertising, marketing, and customer service is expected to continue throughout 2021." With this in mind, IDC forecasts the European software market to post stable growth of 6.6% in 2021.

The European telecom services market is expected to continue its recovery. Remote working, collaboration, and online media consumption are expected to remain part of everyday life, which will make connectivity very important for both consumer and commercial segments. However, the negative impact from COVID-19 on some sub-categories of the market in 2020 will continue to slow its recovery, and IDC forecasts European spending on telecom services to decrease by 0.7% year on year in 2021.

IDC’s Worldwide Black Book: Live Edition is updated monthly with the latest IT spending forecasts for annual growth across 100 countries. It will continue to evolve and capture the escalating impact of the coronavirus on market expectations.