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Research: IT Predictions for 2013

The IT industry's transition to mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data technologies--collectively referred to as the third platform--will accelerate in 2013, according to IDC Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3rd Platform, a recent report from International Data Corporation (IDC).

"The IT industry as a whole is moving toward the mobile/social/cloud/big data world of the third platform much more quickly than many realize: from 2013 through 2020, these technologies will drive around 90 percent of all the growth in the IT market," said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC, in a prepared statement.

That rapid growth will come as a result of the industry moving "past the exploration phase and into full-blown, high stakes competition," according to a news release about the report.

The report also predicts that global IT spending will increase more than five percent over 2012, to $2.1 trillion next year. The mobile device category will grow by 20 percent and account for 57 percent of the growth in the industry as a whole. Excluding mobile, IDC predicted that IT growth in 2013 will be just under three percent.

That growth is leading to changes in consumer behavior, as well, according to information released by IDC, "as more and more people turn to their smartphones and tablets as their primary means of going online. This trend will be further accelerated by the popular embrace of "mini tablets" (sub-8-inch tablets) in 2013. IDC predicts this segment will account for as much as 60% of the 170 million tablets shipped in 2013."

The report also points to cloud computing as a "powerful contributor to industry developments in 2013" with $25 billion in acquisitions occurring in that category "over the next 20 months as cloud services become the centerpiece of more and more vendors' offerings."

Developments in cloud computing will also be driven by increased competition among software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers as packaged application developers such as IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle move into the space and public-platform-as-a-service (PaaS) "becomes commoditized by platforms built on open source-based infrastructure," according to IDC.

The report goes on to suggest that all those trends will lead to "profound changes in the datacenters and IT organizations supporting these third platform solutions" with converged systems and software-defined networking coming to market in 2013 and reaching 30-35 percent penetration by 2016.

The consumerization of IT pushed by the expansion of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives will begin to happen in enterprise security in the form of bring-your-own-identity (BYOID) with "security software vendors and IT shops…using Facebook, Google, and other social and consumer cloud identity services as a core part of their identity management environment, giving them the ability to extend identity management from their enterprise out to wider circles of customers, partners, and prospects," according to information released by IDC. "It will become even clearer that 'consumerization' is not just about end user devices (smartphones, tablets); but increasingly about many of the core parts of enterprise IT."

Big data will also grow to nearly $10 billion next year, according to the report, with investment in the category shifting to analytics applications and discovery tools.

More information is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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