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November 29, 2012

Mobile and Cloud to Dominate IT in 2013 in Shift toward Third Platform

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

As the IT industry shifts to the so-called third platform – which is made up of mobile, cloud, social networking and big data -- these technologies will dominate IT growth in 2013, according to the latest predictions from International Data Corporation (IDC (News - Alert)).

IDC predicts the transition to the third platform will kick into high gear as the IT industry as a whole is moving faster toward the mobile/social/cloud/big data, according to Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC.

In fact, from 2013 through 2020, these technologies will drive around 90 percent of all the growth in the IT market, according to “IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3rd Platform.”

“Companies that are not putting 80 percent or more of their competitive energy into this new market will be trapped in the legacy portion of the market, growing even slower than global GDP,” Gens said in a statement.

For 2013, IDC predicts worldwide IT spending will exceed $2.1 trillion, up 5.7 percent from 2012. The biggest category driving this growth will be led by smart mobile devices, which IDC predicts will grow by almost 20 percent in 2013 and generate nearly 57 percent of the industry’s overall growth.

However, excluding mobile devices, the IT industry’s growth is forecast to be just 2.9 percent, while worldwide software and services spending are forecast to grow 6 percent and 4 percent, respectively. The PC and server markets are also expected to return to modest positive growth in 2013, aided in part by more favorable year-over-year comparisons.

Regionally, the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) will continue to dominate IT spending among the emerging markets with China capturing more than a quarter of this spending, IDC said. IT spending in emerging markets is predicted to grow by 8.8 percent in 2013 to more than $730 billion, representing more than half of all new growth in the IT marketplace, according to IDC.

In addition, mobile devices will continue to be a significant driver of worldwide IT spending, with 2013 being e a critical year for Microsoft (News - Alert) and Research In Motion.

“Both vendors need to capture much greater interest from mobile app developers to expand the number of apps that run on devices powered by their respective operating systems. Failure to do so by the end of 2013 will likely be the beginning of their demise in this market,” IDC officials said.

Cloud will also be a powerful contributor to industry developments in 2013 with the merger & acquisition (M&A) activity of the past 20 months actually accelerating. IDC expects to see over $25 billion in acquisitions over the next 20 months as cloud services become the centerpiece of more and more vendors’ offerings.

In the social software market, enterprise software vendors will continue to step up their app transformations with social technology acquisitions, accelerating the buying spree that began in 2011.

“Look for Microsoft to beef up its CRM/Customer Experience offerings by acquiring a community management platform like GetSatisfaction or Lithium,” according to IDC. “Similarly, Oracle (News - Alert) can be expected to abandon its attempt at creating an enterprise social network and acquire a more robust tool with an existing customer base. Meanwhile, businesses will struggle with enterprise social network sprawl in the transition from experimentation to integration.”

Finally, big data will continue on its growth path, with investment in technologies and services growing to nearly $10 billion in 2013. But the focus of this investment will see an important shift in 2013, as more VC funding and M&A goes toward the upper half of the big data stack: analytics and discovery tools and analytic applications.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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