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  • Giles Stuart - Tech Journalist

As businesses rebound, $4 trillion to be spent in 2021 on tech

Although the recovery isn’t expected to get back to pre-pandemic spending levels before 2023, the tech sector is gearing to push forward with their digital transformation plans. The spend on devices will be at its strongest followed by enterprise software. As companies are re-thinking the workplace, more emphasis will be put on remote and hybrid working and the devices and software staff will use. It was quite apparent when employees had to work remotely from home, from March 2020, that very few were adequately prepared to work remotely outside the office, with the added risk of security breaches and remote worker to remote worker data communications and having to access their employer's data system. Companies that will lead the recovery buying new tech will be banks, insurance and securities companies, which will show a strong recovery during 2021. Retail and transportation will be last to recover, but not until 2023.

During the pandemic, with staff working remotely, investments in tech will need to be made in other areas other than a company’s infrastructure. Cybersecurity is now a main area of concern and investment will be stepped up in online protection. Enterprise software, IT services and data-centre spending, along with cloud will also be big investments this year. It is now not only humans that need protecting from viral threats, businesses too are now vulnerable to cyber-threats, as their staff have to rely on working in an online workplace and that has left companies open to data breaches with multiple workstations spread across a country and not just under the same roof in 'the office'. Cybersecurity threats continue to grow and that will mean more sophisticated methods for companies to stay one step ahead with hardware and software investments.

China already has spending levels far in excess of 2019 levels, as it moves forward with its aim to be a technology 'Super Power' by the end of this year. Europe and North America is expected to recover in late 2021 and Latin America by 2023.

This surge in spending won't be made on investments in the traditional IT departments, where systems were used as workstations and storage, but on technology that is core to a business running smoothly and protecting it from the inside and this technology will now front a business going forward and not just as an overhead expense, that is merely maintained, monitored and sometimes subject to a budget cuts, but as 'an investment' that drives a company's revenue forward.

Social software and collaborative platforms will be core investments, along with human capital management software, that in turn creates a flavourable working environment for employee experience and wellbeing. Although the finance departments will be focusing on optimisation and cost savings, the priorities will now be put into securing a company's digital transformation and improving the value of a business.


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