Greater interest from companies in data analytics tools has been a key contributor to an increase in overall IT spending this year.

According to data from Gartner, total worldwide spending on all IT products – including devices, software, services and telecoms – will climb by two percent compared with 2012 to reach $3.7 trillion.

Within this, the fastest growing sector was enterprise software, which will see revenue grow from $285 billion last year to $304 billion in 2013 – an increase of 6.4 percent. The trend is set to accelerate in 2014, when Gartner anticipates a further rise of 6.6 percent.

Managing vice-president at Gartner Richard Gordon said that one of the key reasons for this is businesses are looking for new solutions to improve areas such as customer loyalty and tools to gain a better insight into their buying behavior will have a key role to play in this.

He told ZDNet: "What we're seeing is the impact of the social trend – big data analytics, that kind of thing – on investment, in that companies are trying to understand customers better and trying to be more interactive with customers, trying to manage multi-channel strategies. 

Mr Gordon also noted that the impact of cloud computing tools in this area is also shaking up traditional investment strategies, particularly when it comes to the pattern of upgrade cycles.

Gartner observed growing adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions has changed the way many firms operate, as they switch from licence purchases to subscription models, which means their spending is more spread out than in the past.

"That changes the type of spending and I guess you could argue that in some sectors it has a dampening effect on spending, as SaaS products are potentially cheaper over the long run. But in other areas there is increased investment, so it evens out," Mr Gordon continued.

He observed that the key trends in the enterprise software sector are the SaaS trend, as well as social, mobile and big data tools, which are beginning to affect strategic investment decisions in many firms.