IT spending to grow in '24 — but not from generative AI

IT spending is expected to grow 6.8% this year, though — despite the hype — that growth won't be driven by generative artificial intelligence, IT consultant Gartner predicts.

"While GenAI will change everything, it won't impact IT spending significantly, similar to IoT [Internet of Things], blockchain and other big trends we have experienced," said John-David Lovelock, distinguished vice president analyst at Gartner, in a Jan. 17 news release. "2024 will be the year when organizations actually invest in planning for how to use GenAI; however, IT spending will be driven by more traditional forces, such as profitability, labor, and dragged down by a continued wave of change fatigue."

That "change fatigue" was one reason IT spending grew just 3.3% in 2023, only a 0.3% increase over 2022. Gartner said that trend could turn into "change resistance:" "CIOs hesitating to sign new contracts, commit to long-term initiatives or take on new technology partners."

Health system CIOs say they plan to return to the foundational basics of IT in 2024 after a few years of sometimes-untethered innovation necessitated by the pandemic. Digital leaders from health systems also hope 2024 is the year generative AI's potential in healthcare is realized.

Gartner also predicted that IT services would become the largest segment of IT spending for the first time in 2024.

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