April 7, 2016 / 7:42 AM / in a year

IT spending could be a casualty of economic uncertainty: Gartner

A woman uses a computer keyboard in this photo illustration taken in Sydney June 23, 2011.Tim Wimborne

(Reuters) - Worldwide spending on information technology could become one of the casualties of global economic uncertainty this year, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

Worldwide IT spending is expected to fall slightly this year to $3.49 trillion, as the strong U.S. dollar continues to take its toll, the firm said on Thursday.

The global uncertainty is making organizations "tighten their belts".

Investing in digital businesses and services at a time when revenue growth does not support IT spending is forcing organizations to cut costs, Gartner said.

In constant currency, Gartner predicts a 1.6 percent growth rate in IT spending this year, compared with 2.4 percent a year earlier.

The problem is U.S.-based multi-nationals can't make as much money, even there is a global increase in IT activity, John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner said in an interview.

Networking giant Cisco Systems Inc said in February that it was weathering a global slowdown in information-technology spending. Analysts at the time said that Cisco's warning could be a bad sign for some technology companies.

Spending on devices like PCs, mobile phones, tablets and printers is also expected to decline 3.7 percent to $626 billion, Gartner said, due to the global saturation in the smartphone and PC markets.

Reporting by Narottam Medhora and Anya George Thakaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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