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Study: IT Sector Should Help Drive Global Economic Recovery

A new study released by IT research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) has shown that the information technology sector will contribute significantly to the global economic recovery, creating 5.8 million jobs and more than 75,000 new businesses over the next four years. Commissioned by Microsoft, the study looked at 52 countries that together account for 98 percent of global IT expenditures, examining in each country: employment in the IT and software sectors, national and local IT job creation, formation of new businesses, and tax revenues.

Among the key findings of the study related to the IT sector and software industry are:

  • IT spending is expected to grow at triple the rate of GDP growth in the 52 countries studied; it is pegged at about 3.3 percent growth per year through the end of 2013.
  • Global spending on IT will create 5.8 million new jobs between the end of 2009 and the end of 2013. The expected growth rate of 3 percent a year is more than three times the rate of total employment growth.
  • The IT market will create more than 75,000 new businesses, mostly small and locally owned organizations, over the next four years.
  • IDC estimates that cloud services could add $800 billion in net new business revenues between the end of 2009 and the end of 2013.
  • IT spending provides revenues for more than 1.2 million companies that employ more than 13 million people, selling or distributing hardware, software, and services; ore than 22 million additional IT professionals work in companies and organizations that use IT.
  • The employees and companies in these 52 countries will pay nearly $1.2 trillion in taxes in 2009. In the next four years, there will be nearly $366 billion in net new tax revenues.
  • Software accounts for a modest slice of overall IT spending but has a disproportionately positive impact on local economies, driving activity in the services and distribution sectors, as well as in organizations using IT; although worldwide spending on packaged software will be only 21 percent of total IT spending in 2009, 51 percent of employment in IT will be software-related.

"Over the past 20 years, we've seen transformative power in how investments in IT innovations foster economic growth," said Robert D. Atkinson, founder and president of the Washington, DC-based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. "Continued innovation and investment in information technology will help jump-start recovery from the current recession and will significantly contribute to the growth of employment and new businesses."

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.

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