The report says cloud computing, social networking and mobile technology will combine to function as the new nexus.
Worldwide enterprise IT spending is projected to total $2.7 trillion
in 2012, a 3.9 percent increase from 2011 spending of $2.6 trillion,
according to research from IT analytics firm Gartner. While enterprise
IT spending growth is slowing (from the expected 5.9 percent increase
in 2011), analysts said it's important to note that despite the global
economic challenges, enterprises will continue to invest in IT.
"The days when IT was the passive observer of the world are over.
Global politics and the global economy are being shaped by IT," said
Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of
research. "IT is a primary driver of business growth. For example, this
year 350 companies will each invest more than $1 billion in IT. They
are doing this because IT impacts their business performance."
According to the report, two-thirds of CEOs believe IT will make a
greater contribution to their industry in the next 10 years than any
prior decades. "For the IT leader to thrive in this environment, IT
leaders must lead from the front and re-imagine IT," Sondergaard said.
"IT leaders must embrace the post-modern business, a business driven by
customer relationships, fueled by the explosion in information,
collaboration and mobility."
Sondergaard said this new era brings with it "urgent and compelling
forces," including the cloud, social media, enterprise mobility and an
explosion in information. Gartner estimates that while $74 billion was
spent on public cloud services in 2010, that only represented 3 percent
of enterprise spending. Public cloud services are expected to grow five
times faster than overall IT enterprise spending (19 percent annually
through 2015). "What supply chain models did to manufacturing is what
cloud computing is doing to in-house data centers. It is allowing
people to optimize around where they have differentiated capabilities,"
Less than 20 million media tablets, such as the Apple iPad, were
sold in 2010, but by 2016, 900 million media tablets will be purchased
- one for every eight people on earth. By 2014, the installed base of
devices based on lightweight mobile operating systems, such as Apple's
iOS, Google's Android, and Microsoft's Windows 8 will exceed the total
installed base of all PC-based systems, Gartner research indicated.
"That's incredible change, not only for individuals. It requires IT
to re-imagine the way it provides applications," Sondergaard said. "By
2014, private app stores will be deployed by 60 percent of IT
organizations. The applications themselves will be redesigned - they
will become context-enabled, understanding the user's intent
automatically. Mobile computing is not just the desktop on a handheld
device. The future of mobile computing is context-aware computing."
The report says cloud computing, social networking and mobile
technology will combine to function as the new nexus, and as data
centers give way to data clouds, mobile devices become windows into
personal clouds. "These forces are innovative and disruptive just taken
on their own, but brought together, they are revolutionizing business
and society," Sondergaard said. "This nexus defines the next age of
computing. To understand this change, you must appreciate each of the
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.