Driven primarily by cloud and cybersecurity investments, worldwide IT spending is projected to total US$5.1 trillion in 2024, an increase of 8 per cent from 2023, according to the latest forecast from Gartner.
The software and IT services segments will see double-digit growth in 2024, largely driven by cloud spending, according to Gartner.
Global spending on public cloud services is forecast to increase by 20.4 per cent in 2024. The source of growth will be a combination of cloud vendors' price increases and increased utilisation, just as it was in 2023, wrote John-David Lovelock, a distinguished vice president analyst at Gartner.
Cybersecurity spending is also driving growth in the software segment. Roughly 80 per cent of CIOs reported that they plan to increase spending on cyber/information security in 2024, according to Gartner's 2024 CIO and Technology Executive Survey.
Other areas that will see increased investment, albeit in the single digits, include data centre systems, communications and IT services, Lovelock noted.
And while generative AI is the hot industry technology of the moment, it has not yet had a material impact on IT spending, although investment in AI more broadly is supporting overall IT spending growth, Lovelock stated.
Organisations are continuing to invest in AI and automation to increase operational efficiency and bridge IT talent gaps, Lovelock stated. “The hype around GenAI is supporting this trend, as CIOs recognise that today’s AI projects will be instrumental in developing an AI strategy and story before GenAI becomes part of their IT budgets starting in 2025.”
What AI has done, however, is create a security scare for organisations, Lovelock said. “Gartner is projecting double-digit growth across all segments of enterprise security spending for 2024.”
And at its IT Symposium/Xpo event this week, AI security-related topics were pervasive.
The risks associated with GenAI are significant, continuous and will constantly evolve, according to Gartner. The firm's surveys indicate that undesirable outputs and insecure code are among enterprises' top-of-mind risks when using GenAI: 57 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about leaked secrets in AI-generated code.
“Organisations that don’t manage AI risk will witness their models not performing as intended, and, in the worst case, can cause human or property damage,” said Gartner analyst Avivah Litan. “This will result in security failures, financial and reputational loss, and harm to individuals from incorrect, manipulated, unethical or biased outcomes. AI malperformance can also cause organisations to make poor business decisions.”
IBM study finds AI security concerns among enterprises
In its own recent study of AI security issues, IBM reported that business leaders appear to be prioritising the development of new capabilities without addressing new security risks.
This is despite 96 per cent which are adopting generative AI believing this makes a security breach likely in their organisation within the next three years.
“As generative AI proliferates over the next six to 12 months, experts expect new intrusion attacks to exploit scale, speed, sophistication, and precision, with constant new threats on the horizon,” IBM stated.
For network and security teams, AI-related challenges could include having to battle the large volumes of spam and phishing emails generative AI can create; watching for denial-of-service attacks by those large traffic volumes; and having to look for new malware that is more difficult to detect and remove than traditional malware.
“Organisations that do not consistently manage AI risks are exponentially inclined to experience adverse outcomes, such as project failures and breaches. Inaccurate, unethical or unintended AI outcomes, process errors and interference from malicious actors can result in security failures, financial and reputational loss or liability, and social harm,” said Gartner distinguished vice president analyst Arun Chandrasekaran.