However, this growth rate is down from earlier projections of 3.2 per cent, according to the latest forecast by Gartner.
The slower outlook for 2014 is attributed to a reduction in growth expectations for devices, data centre systems and to some extent IT services, said Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company.
"Price pressure based on increased competition, lack of product differentiation and the increased availability of viable alternative solutions has had a dampening effect on the short term IT spending outlook," said Richard Gordon, managing vice-president at Gartner.
"However, 2015 through 2018 will see a return to 'normal' spending growth levels as pricing and purchasing styles reach a new equilibrium. IT is entering its third phase of development, moving from a focus on technology and processes in the past to a focus in the future on new business models enabled by digitalisation."
The Gartner worldwide IT spending forecast is the leading indicator of major technology trends across the hardware, software, IT services and telecom markets.
For more than a decade, global IT and business executives have been using these highly anticipated quarterly reports to recognise market opportunities and challenges, and base their critical business decisions on proven methodologies rather than guesswork.
The devices market (including PCs, ultramobiles, mobile phones, tablets and printers) is forecast to grow in 2014, but not as much as predicted in the previous quarter's forecast, reaching $685 billion, a 1.2 per cent increase from 2013. This is due to lower price points expected across mobile phones and tablets. As tablet penetration reaches 50 per cent in United States households, sales of high-end tablets will decrease, with the next wave of adopters more attracted to lower priced utility tablets. The result is the mix of tablets shifting from basic tablets to utility tablets resulting in lower price points.
Data centre systems
Data centre systems spending is projected to reach $140 billion in 2014, a 0.4 per cent increase from 2013. Constrained spending levels continue to negatively impact the revenue opportunity for data centre systems, particularly with external controller-based (ECB) storage.
ECB storage spending is suffering from the combined effects of underutilised systems in the installed base, as well as lower-cost alternative architectures and cloud-based storage.
The server market also shows weakness as enterprises migrate away from high-cost platforms toward lower-cost alternatives. The hyperscale segment, primarily driven by consumer-oriented services, does provide some positive drivers to the market.