With several caveats--that global trends are not necessarily reflected in every local market; that some spending is disguised (open source investments, for example); that market share shifts are happening; and that some sectors are growing while others decline--Gartner says global telecom spending by enterprises is flat in 2016, and likely will stay that way through 2020.
The other caveat is that major global upticks and downturns tend to affect enterprise capital investment as well. So any synchronized global downturn will have more negative impact than current projections incorporate.
Also, currency fluctuations also affect the reported level of spending. On a constant currency basis, information technology spending would be up about 1.5 percent.
At the same time, productivity improvements mean enterprises can spend less, while gaining greater advantage from any fixed amount of spending.
Separately, Ovum says second quarter 2016 earnings by public service providers show that service provider revenues overall grew about one percent in the second quarter, year over year.
That, Ovum says, is the first his year-over-year growth since the third quarter of 2014. Those figures include both consumer and business segments, and likely reflect revenue gains in consumer segments of the business.
Much small business spending on cloud services or mobility often gets disguised as consumer spending on such services, as well.