German IT spending forecast to rise on eve of industry's biggest trade show

Software and services will drive IT spending in Germany, as the number of IT sector jobs continues to rise, an industry group forecasts

IT spending is forecast to rise faster than previously expected in Germany, a bellwether for European industry, while IT sector jobs there will total almost one million by year-end. However, forthcoming legislation could have a chilling effect, industry association Bitkom warned.

The news will put a smile on the faces of exhibitors and visitors at the giant Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany, which opens Monday.

Last year, 26,000 new jobs were created in the German IT industry, more than the 10,000 expected, Bitkom said. It expects 21,000 more will find employment in the industry by year end, taking the total to 990,000.

The faster-than-expected rise in employment last year has prompted the association to raise its forecast for German IT spending on IT, telecommunications and consumer electronics this year to €155.5 billion (US$163 billion), up 1.5 percent year on year compared to an earlier growth forecast of 0.6 percent.

As more companies allow employees to bring their own devices to work, or use consumer-oriented products such as tablets in a business setting, it is becoming harder to distinguish between spending on "consumer" electronics and corporate IT systems, although the association does try.

It forecast that corporate IT spending will grow by 3.2 percent, to €80.3 billion. Software spending will rise fastest, up 5.7 percent year on year to €20.2 billion, it said, with IT services including consulting rising 3 percent to €37.3 billion. That's good news for Germany, which has a strong software and services sector, including global players such as SAP and Software AG.

Hardware spending will grow more slowly, rising 1.3 percent year on year to €22.8 billion. Sales of desktop PCs and notebooks will drop 7.3 percent this year, to €5.9 billion, after rising 15.7 percent last year on the back of software updates, Bitkom president Dieter Kempf said in a news conference in Hanover. The emphasis on PC purchases limited the budget available for tablets, sales of which declined 5.3 percent last year, but Bitkom expects sales to pick up again this year, rising 7.8 percent to €2.4 billion.

Much of that spending will be driven by the digitization of new areas of industry, as more machines and vehicles are hooked up to sensors and analytical systems. That's something viewed as an opportunity rather than a risk by around 86 percent of top managers surveyed by Bitkom -- but among small businesses, only around half of senior managers see the transition in a positive light.

Telecommunications spending will stagnate at around €65.4 billion, with slight rises in sales of infrastructure and terminals offset by a decline in spending on services.

Rising sales of phones and tablets, which can play music and videos and take pictures, will continue to drive down spending on digital cameras and music players, resulting in a 3 percent decline in spending on other consumer electronics. However, sales of home audio and home cinema systems will remain healthy, Bitkom predicted.

Government support for the rollout of broadband communications and the construction of intelligent energy and transport networks will give the IT industry a boost, but Kempf warned that some legislative projects still have the potential to stifle growth.

Among these, he cited the Small Investor Protection Act, which he expects will make crowdfunding unattractive, threatening the financing of start-ups. With two entire halls at Cebit given over to startups in search of investment, and a third to technology research projects that could be spun off into new businesses, this is particularly damaging: Other countries are heading in the opposite direction, making it easier for startups to seek funding from unqualified investors in this way.

Another cloud on the IT horizon is the proposed Workplace Directive, which could make flexible working impossible, he said.

Cebit, organized by Deutsche Messe, opens at the Hanover Fairgrounds on Monday.

Peter Sayer covers general technology breaking news for IDG News Service, with a special interest in open source software and related European intellectual property legislation. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags business issuesBitkomcebit

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?