IDC: New World Order As Players Vie For Dominance

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IDC predicts that mobile, cloud, social networking, and big data analytics will lead the way in 2012

By next year, mobile, cloud and social networking have transitioned into the mainstream and  companies will compete for market leadership, according to market intelligence company International Data Corporation’s (IDC) 2012 predictions.

Its research reveals that spending on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data analytics technologies is growing at approximately 18 percent per year and is expected to account for at least 80 percent of IT spending growth between now and 2020.

Fighting for the top spot

This growth will result in “some of the first high-stakes battles as companies seek to position themselves for leadership in these critical and fast-growing technology areas.”

“The industry’s shift to the third Platform will accelerate in 2012, forcing the industry’s leaders to make bold investments and fateful decisions,” said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC.

“Companies like Microsoft, HP, SAP, RIM, and others, including Apple, will face crossroads moments in 2012. By the end of the year, we should have a good idea which vendors will and won’t be, among the industry’s leaders at the end of the decade.”

According to the company, the mobile market has reached a threshold point and is set to eclipse the PC market next year in terms of volume and spend.

The company claims that with 85 billion downloads, the mobile market generates more revenue than the mainframe market, adding that it “will see heated competition in 2012 as Microsoft joins the crucial battle for dominance in the mobile operating system market and the Kindle Fire challenges the iPad in the media tablet market.”

Meanwhile, established players like IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle will face serious challenges from Amazon, Google, Salesforce.com, and VMware, as the strategic focus in the world of cloud services shifts from building infrastructure to the creation of application platforms and ecosystems.

Amazon Web Services is expected to exceed $1 billion (£639m) in cloud services business in 2012 with Google’s Enterprise business to follow within 18 months. We also expect a merger and acquisition feeding frenzy as companies seek to gain a competitive edge. Look for Microsoft to buy a content/media cloud, like Netflix, to provide a marketplace for its apps and content. Other prime targets for acquisition include Cloud Application/SaaS companies, like Workday, NetSuite, and Taleo,” said IDC.

Changing the way we talk

Social networking technologies will also see a number of major IT vendors making acquisitions in this market. “Companies like LinkedIn, Spigit, BrightIdea, Attensity, and Lithium are logical acquisition targets for Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle. Meanwhile, Facebook will attempt to leverage its consumer dominance into a broader role serving as the business-to-consumer platform of choice.”

According to the company, data volumes have grown substantially and with 90 percent of data unstructured, big data will become a critical resource for companies wanting to squeeze high-value insights from this hard-to-analyse data.

“2012 will see offerings that more closely integrate data and analytics technologies, such as in-memory databases and BI tools, move into the mainstream. And, like the cloud services market, 2012 is likely to be a busy year for big data-driven mergers and acquisitions as large IT vendors seek to acquire additional functionality,” said IDC in a statement.

Its research also found that the number of intelligent, communicating devices on the network will outnumber “traditional computing” devices by almost two to one within the next 24 months, changing the way we think and interact with each other and devices on the network. It also claimed that mobile data network spend will exceed fixed spend for the first time.

IDC also predicts that in 2012, 80 percent of new commercial enterprise apps will be deployed on cloud platforms, while 15 percent of new mobile apps will be based on HTML5 by year’s end.

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