First, you touch on investment vs consumption.
I suspect that this is a big part of things.
There is a genuine change in the market: it has benefits, buy it messes up statistics.
If I used to buy a software package and charge it as an asset then (somehow, sometimes...) that is "investment".
But if instead I use Microsoft Office 365 and pay per month, then it is an expense.
Or if my company bought a Blackberry that was an asset - but if I take out a contract for BYOD and expense it each month it no longer is.
In other words, the statistics could be completely correct: investment is falling because cloud is delivering genuine efficiency / productivity benefits.
The second part is genuine efficiency.
Some of those assets just vanish.
Some of course don't.
I no longer by a Dell rack for email server if I use Google hosted email (no asset on my balance sheet) - but Google buys servers instead (so an asset & investment).
BUT there are incredible efficiency gains: they probably pay 50% of the price I paid, and economiers of scale (trunking gain) they get far better uitisation.