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Gartner Raises 2011 Tech Spending Forecast

Research firm Gartner Inc. predicts that tech spending will climb 7.1 percent this year to $3.7 trillion.

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Research firm Gartner Inc. on Thursday raised its 2011 outlook for global spending on technology products and services, saying fears that the Japan earthquake and tsunami would seriously hurt tech spending appear to have been overstated.

Gartner now predicts that tech spending will climb 7.1 percent this year to $3.7 trillion. The firm had previously expected 5.6 percent growth.

Last year, tech spending rose 5.9 percent to $3.4 trillion.

It is "a bit surprising" that the March disaster's impact on his firm's spending forecast hasn't been larger, Gartner research Vice President Richard Gordon said in a statement, but it hasn't had a "dramatic impact" on tech spending.

"For 2011 as a whole, we expect Japan IT spending to be down in local currency, but we expect a positive growth trend to emerge in the second half of the year and continue into 2012," Gordon said.

Gartner expects telecom spending will rise 6.9 percent to $2.1 trillion, compared with 7.3 percent growth last year. It expects information technology services to rise 6.6 percent to $846 billion, compared with 3.1 percent growth in 2010. Computing hardware spending is estimated to rise 11.7 percent to $419 billion, compared with 12.1 percent last year. And Gartner forecast that enterprise software spending will grow 9.5 percent to $268 billion, compared with 8.4 percent last year.

Gartner expects that cloud computing services, while still a tiny segment of tech spending, will rise to $89 billion in 2011, compared with $74 billion last year. The firm expects spending in this market to climb to $177 billion by 2015.

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