Cloud computing, mobile technology and social networking will become the new mainstream for the IT community in 2011, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).
"In 2011, we expect to see these transformative technologies make the critical transition from early adopter status to early mainstream adoption,” said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC. "As a result, we’ll see the IT industry revolving more and more around the build-out and adoption of this next dominant platform, characterised by mobility, cloud-based application and service delivery, and value-generating overlays of social business and pervasive analytics.”
The platform transition will be fueled by another solid year of recovery in IT spending. IDC forecasts worldwide IT spending will be $US1.6 trillion in 2011, an increase of 5.7% over 2010. While hardware spending will remain strong, the industry will depend to a larger extent on improvements in software spending and related project-based services spending, as well as gains in outsourcing.
A 30% increase in spending on public cloud services is predicted, with SMEs being major adopters, as organisations move a wider range of business applications into the cloud. Infrastructure, software and service providers will also collaborate on a range of new offerings and solutions in the ‘private cloud’.
IDC expects shipments of app-capable, non-PC mobile devices (smartphones, media tablets, etc.) will outnumber PC shipments within the next 18 months – and there will be no looking back. The level of activity in the mobile apps market will be "staggering”, with IDC expecting nearly 25 billion mobile apps to be downloaded in 2011, up from just over 10 billion in 2010.
Adoption and development of social business software is expected to grow an average of 38% per year through to 2014, and 40% of SMEs are expected to be using social networks for promotional purposes by the end of 2011.
"What really distinguishes the year ahead is that these disruptive technologies are finally being integrated with each other – cloud with mobile, mobile with social networking, social networking with ‘big data’ and real-time analytics,” added Gens. "As a result, these once-emerging technologies can no longer be invested in, or managed, as sandbox efforts around the edges of the market. Instead, they are rapidly becoming the market itself and must be addressed accordingly.”