Next week at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, we will be announcing our latest outlook for worldwide IT spending. A common question I get is, “How do you come up with those forecasts?”
Well, it’s not pure guesswork!
The first step in forecasting any market is to accurately estimate the current market size and Gartner has a long history of compiling detailed technology and service provider revenue data with which to do that. Once we have established a solid historical base we can begin the forecast process.
Gartner’s forecast for worldwide IT spending is actually a “roll-up” of numerous, detailed market segment forecasts across the Devices, Data Center Systems, Enterprise Software, IT Services and Telecommunications Services sectors. In other words, the headline IT Spending growth rate figure is derived from a “bottoms-up” approach that takes into account the latest changes in market outlook across a wide range of technology markets.
Each market segment forecast is based on a specific “market model” that describes the particular dynamics at play in that marketplace. Analysts, who are subject matter experts within each market segment, own these “market models” and the forecast methodology that goes with them. No two “market models”, nor the associated forecast methodology employed, are the same because they are designed to reflect reality in terms of specific market structure and characteristics. What they do have in common, however, is the identification of key influencing factors that determine future market performance. In creating market segment forecasts, Gartner analysts make assumptions about these key influencing factors; when these assumptions change, in aggregate, the forecast changes.
Another important consideration when forecasting fast-moving technology markets is the frequency of update. At Gartner we review and update all our standard IT market segment forecasts every quarter.
We will have more detailed analysis on the outlook for IT spending during our complimentary webinar, “Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast, 3Q12 Update” that we will be hosting on October 23 at 11 a.m. EDT. If you would like to attend the webinar, you can register at http://my.gartner.com/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=202&mode=2&PageID=5553&resId=2155916&ref=Webinar-Calendar.
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