Our overall goal, in this report, remains to advance a present, modern vision of the relevance of Information Technology for our national economic system. We deem important to enable connection of “macro” numbers with more granular results from specific sectors, segments or market niches and, above all, to provide our own perspective in the interpretation of the data. As in past editions, our estimates were projected at the end of 2015: while aware of the risks, we are convinced that any outlook must keep the future in sight and impart a level of confidence in the data. Taking a snapshot of the “old” year does not add value for its stakeholders.
THE IT MARKET
At the completion of this Report, the most optimistic growth forecasts for Italy’s GDP in 2015 are +0.8%. Although the economic growth of our country is in fact very modest, business confidence has generally grown compared to 2014, and, more relevantly, despite the embargo put on Russia and the sharp depreciation of the Chinese currency, the Italian export seems to hold its position. The stalemate of investments, including IT ones, is slowly reversing gear. As we have seen by the results of the research associated with the Report, the intensity and the speed of adoption of technologies for innovation grounds for cautious optimism, despite a non-homogenous landscape. For instance, many companies are the most active in terms of innovation because of their dependence on exports and their growing exposure to competition in foreign markets, as well as many organizations are committed to designing policies improving the proximity to customers/consumers or the transformation of their production processes. In contrast with the general trend of IT Expenditures of enterprises this year is also the Telecommunications segment that, despite the positive performance of smartphones and apps, pays the price of a general decline in consumer spending and it remains negative. The revitalization of corporate investments is deeply influenced by the needs of infrastructure renewals, by the kick off of digital transformation projects and by the effects induced by technology itself. However, wide swaths of product and services are still progressively slipping toward commodity systems. The combined effects of these factors primarily compress investments in “existing IT”, but they also free Budgets on innovation projects starting virtuous circles in which Cloud Computing represents the most relevant quote of services provided. Thus, the overall result is positive and IT Expenditures grows again in 2015 by a significant +1.7%, after last year positive inflection. As shown in Figure1, Cloud Computing still grows at double digits and marks also a relevant increase of +2.7% in the Software segment , but at the same time both IT Services and Hardware sectors mark a slight improvement, even though they maintain their negative sign.
Figure1 suggests that the dynamics of IT Expenditures in our market have a boundary consistent with the one redefined three years ago, i.e. according to the choice of taking into account product lines like Smartphone, rather than highlighting products and services related to emerging areas of IT tied to the digital transformation of business and the Internet of Things. In any case, the overall IT Expenditures in 2015 approach 24,701 million euros with a consolidated growth of +1.7% compared to last year. Taken as a whole, the IT market consolidates the positive trend started one year ago in spite of the economic recession, in which the abovementioned opposing trends flow with dynamics that definitely increase their importance and evolution at a much greater rate. We are going to realize this when, as we will do in the following paragraphs, we analyse how different situations can vary with substantial and contradictory movements. This is also what makes the IT market in our country so far from objectively verifiable and so difficult to interpret.