Apps, enterprise software, devices: Where should you invest IT dollars in the coming months? As construction companies continue to identify key areas for technology investment, analysts predict the biggest growth areas for IT spending in the remainder of 2013.

Spending on devices is only expected to rise 2.8% in 2013, due mostly to the fact PC sales continued to decline in the first two quarters of this year, with only a small recovery expected during the second half of 2013, according to Gartner, www.gartner.com, Stamford, Conn. On the flip side, the outlook for tablet revenue for 2013 is anticipated to grow 38.9%, with mobile phone revenue expected to increase 9.3% as well.

Interesting, enterprise software spending is set to grow 6.4% in 2013, which is a greater overall growth percentage than devices (2.8%), data center systems (2.1%), IT services (2.2%), and telecom services (0.9%). Gartner says the jump in enterprise software spending is due in part to CRM (customer-relationship management), which is gaining expanded coverage in ecommerce, social, and mobile.

The rise of cloud computing and SaaS (software-as-a-service) also offer new opportunities for Big Data and mobility to further develop in the construction industry. As this happens, construction companies could also see the rise of the Enterprise App Store. Box, www.box.com, Los Altos, Calif., as one example, unveiled Box $rev last month, a program that will make it easy for developers to build mobile apps that work with Box. Announcements such as this can help to push enterprise apps forward in the coming months.

This move toward enterprise apps is requiring IT departments to look at how devices are being used across a company. With the rise of the BYOD (bring your own device) trend, a significant portion of construction staff is using personal devices for business purposes. This is leading to a growing use of systems, software, and devices that are not supported by the corporate IT department—something becoming more commonly referred to as shadow IT.

During the Connected World Conference, which took place last month in Santa Clara, a CIO panel addressed many of the trends happening in today’s IT department. One big theme from the session was the fact a CIO’s job is no longer simply related to things like keeping the servers running, but rather enabling secure and accurate data exchange. Kevin Soohoo, director, information technology, Air Systems Inc., an EMCOR Co., www.airsystemsinc.com, San Jose, Calif., addressed 4G LTE allowing data to be transmitted at faster rates and questions how much data to put on the network.

Could IT departments soon transform to become a group of data experts, rather than hardware specialists? IT is certainly trending in that general direction. Interested in learning more about IT trends, specifically targeting the construction industry? Check out the 2013 Constructech IT Playbook, which is the definitive resource for IT adoption and forecasting in construction.