The company said measures like working from home had accelerated the process of digital transformation which would lead to a rise in IT spending.
“CIOs have a balancing act to perform in 2021 – saving cash and expanding IT,” said John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice-president at Gartner.
“With the economy returning to a level of certainty, companies are investing in IT in a manner consistent with their expectations for growth, not their current revenue levels.
Gartner said all segments of IT spending were expected to return to growth this year, with enterprise software having the biggest rebound (8.8%) followed by devices (8%).
“There are a combination of factors pushing the devices market higher,” said Lovelock. “As countries continue remote education through this year, there will be a demand for tablets and laptops for students.
"Likewise, enterprises are industrialising remote work for employees as quarantine measures keep employees at home and budget stabilisation allows CIOs to reinvest in assets that were sweated in 2020.”
Gartner said businesses would be forced to accelerate digital business transformation plans to survive in the post-COVID-19 world that would call for more remote work and digital touch points.
Spending connected to remote work would rise by 4.9% to US$332.9 billion in 2021, the company said.
“Digital business represents the dominant technology trend in late 2020 and early 2021 with areas such as cloud computing, core business applications, security and customer experience at the forefront," said Lovelock.
"Optimisation initiatives, such as hyper-automation, will continue and the focus of these projects will remain on returning cash and eliminating work from processes, not just tasks.”