Cloud computing, mobile technologies and social networking take a top spot in IDC’s predictions for what will shape the IT industry in 2011. The experts predict these three factors will contribute to the creation of a new mainstream platform for the IT industry.
"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. In addition to creating new markets and opportunities, this restructuring will overthrow nearly every assumption about who the industry's leaders will be and how they establish and maintain leadership,” he added.
IDC also predicts a solid year of recovery in IT spending. According to IDC’s latest forecasts, IT spending will be $1.6 trillion in 2011, representing an increase of 5.7% over 2010.
Hardware spending will remain strong but the industry will depend on improvements in software spending (5.3% growth predicted) and related project-based services spending (3.5% growth), as well as outsourcing (4% growth).
Additionally, over half of all net new IT spending worldwide next year will be generated by the accelerated recovery in emerging markets.
IT cloud services spending will grow at over five times the rate of the IT industry in 2011, up 30% from 2010.
IDC also predicts that shipments of app-capable, non-PC mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets will outnumber PC shipments within the next 18 months. In addition to this, nearly 25 billion mobile apps are expected to be downloaded in 2011, up from just over 10 billion in 2010.
In terms of social networking, IDC expects 2011 to see major software vendors acquire social software providers to increase their social business footprint. In the mean time, more and more SMBs are expected to start using social networks, with over 40% of them expected to use social platforms 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.