In a statement, the company said this would represent 16% of the total business IT spending; this, it predicted, would total US$2.7 trillion, a fall of 8% year-on-year.
The only segments which looked likely to show growth in 2020 would be IT services and software, the firm said, adding that IT services would continue to be the largest component of IT spending for governments in 2020, while software spending would see the strongest growth, with an increase of 4.5% in 2020 year-on-year.
“Government organisations are accelerating IT spending on digital public services, public health, social services, education, and workforce reskilling in support of individuals, families and businesses that are heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Irma Fabular, senior research director at Gartner.
Fabular said Important, but less urgent IT projects, such as enterprise resource planning and robotics process automation, would be delayed to make room for immediate and critical spending in digital workplace support, public health response and economic growth.
"Adoption of cloud services will continue to accelerate while spending on in-house servers and storage will continue to decline," she added.
“As government organisations globally begin to ease stay-at-home policies, some practices relevant to public health and wellness will persist, including options for telecommuting.
“Many government organisations will also introduce measures to build community and national resilience, including improving disease and other threat surveillance systems. An example is the US$500 million in aid designated by the US Federal Government in public health data surveillance and infrastructure modernisation to help states and local governments develop COVID-19 tools."
The Gartner note said government IT spending in North America would be the largest sector globally, reaching US$191 billion in 2020, followed by Western Europe (US$94 billion) and Greater China (US$39 billion).
Digital government services, data and analytics, cyber security as well as citizen engagement and experience would continue to be spending targets for the public sector.
In addition, as illustrated by an EU policy recommendation, building health system resilience to combat future pandemics would dominate some leadership priorities.
These priorities would include spending on supply chain predictability, medical research and IT infrastructure security solutions.