I want to start by revisiting that IDC sales data from last week, particularly having noted ZDNet’s analysis. IDC predicted that shipments of traditional PCs, including desktops, notebooks and workstations, will reach almost 96 million units in 2021 in the EMEA region – a 13.2% increase compared to the previous year. It’s the nature of the demand that’s changing.
PC shipments destined for consumers increased particularly fast last year as users looked for entertainment during lockdown. This was reflected in the strong growth of consumer desktop sales, which were typically used for gaming. Now in the second quarter of 2021, IDC expects consumer demand for desktops to decline slightly (by less than 2%) in Western Europe, as the ending of lockdowns quells interest in gaming.
Consumer demand in general is not expected to be as strong as before: for example, as schools re-open, parents will be less likely to purchase the hardware that is necessary for online learning
But the real driver of sales for the remainder of the year is expected to come from the commercial market. In Western Europe, IDC anticipates the commercial market will grow by almost 25% in the next quarter, driven by employers’ investments in hardware to support new forms of working.
As hybrid-working methods become more established, companies will be purchasing notebooks to support digitization projects – but they will also be investing in desktops as employees return to the office.
Let’s couple this with some Gartner data. There’s expected to be a 8.6% increase in spending for 2022, with a focus on cloud computing, data analytics, and IT security.
Maybe, says TechRepublic, as their survey data says 43% of respondents will tighten their IT budgets due to COVID-19. Of course, 23% said there is no impact. Their noted biggest priorities: improving network and internet security, cloud services, digital transformation, and employee training,
Why do we care?
I do love sifting through conflicting data. So, the PC surge was consumer driven, and IDC expects the commercial market to grow. Note Windows 11 is in that timeframe too, and clearly a contributing factor here.
The wildcard is the pandemic. Will those wallets open up? Maybe. Cash is always king during a crisis. Getting close to your customer, and understanding their customer is the savvy play here. This isn’t a slam dunk.