Cloud Computing, et al.

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Cloud Computing, et al.

IDC claimed spending on cloud services, mobile computing, social networking and big data analytics technologies is growing at about 18 percent per year and is expected to account for at least 80 percent of IT spending growth between now and 2020. "The industry's shift to the 3rd Platform will accelerate in 2012, forcing the industry's leaders to make bold investments and fateful decisions," said IDC chief analyst Frank Gens.

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The Cloud Is Rich With Innovative Contenders

IDC counts IBM, Microsoft and Oracle as facing serious challenges from cloud computing providers Amazon, Google, and VMware. To wit, IDC expects Amazon Web Services to exceed $1 billion in cloud services business in 2012, with Google's Enterprise business to follow within 18 months. In what is proving to be the current reality, IDC also said there will be a mergers & acquisitions hot streak. Microsoft, Gens said, may buy Netflix, while enterprise software-as-a-service companies Workday, NetSuite and Taleo are prime targets, following Oracle's October bid for SaaS CRM provider RightNow Technologies and SAP's bid Dec. 3 for SaaS human resource software maker SuccessFactors.

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Big Money in Mobile

Smartphones and media tablets will surpass PCs in both shipments and spending, while mobile apps will garner 85 billion downloads. IDC noted that Microsoft will come on strong with Windows Phones and Windows 8 tablets, while the Kindle Fire (pictured) and subsequent Amazon slates may challenge the iPad.

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Social Networking

Social networking technologies will become the rule, not the exception, in major enterprise IT shops. Just as in enterprise SaaS, IDC expects big high-tech companies to snap up smaller social network players. "LinkedIn, Spigit, BrightIdea, Attensity and Lithium are logical acquisition targets for Microsoft, IBM and Oracle," Gens noted. Indeed, made a big acquisition earlier this year, plunking down $326 million for social monitoring software concern Radian6. That technology forms the bedrock of the new Social Marketing Cloud. One imagines LinkedIn will cost an acquirer a pretty penny. It's doing quite well.

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Big Data

IDC predicts the digital content volume will balloon by 2.7 zettabytes, a 48 percent boost from 2011, with 90 percent of it unstructured in the form of images, videos, MP3 files-all the typical social media sharing fodder.This market too will be ripe for investment and acquisition.

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HTML5 Bonus Prediction

IDC also believes 15 percent of new mobile apps will be based on HTML5 by the end of 2012 as Adobe's Flash is phased out. HTML5 is coming on strong thanks to adoption by Google, Apple and others.

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Consumerization of IT to Continue

The so-called consumerization of IT, where consumers bring their personal computing devices (and use mainstream consumer software) into the workplace, is impacting businesses. "As users take more control of the devices they will use, business managers are taking more control of the budgets IT organizations" used to have exclusive control over, noted Gartner analyst Daryl Plummer. Microsoft's vision for the consumerization of IT is shown here.

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Low-Cost Cloud Services

Low-cost IT services will cause the cannibalization of up to 15 percent of current and potential outsourcing revenue, Gartner predicted. Gartner is advising vendors to invest in and adopt a new cloud-based, industrialized services strategy.

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Mobilization of IT

About 50 percent of enterprise email users will rely primarily on a browser, tablet or mobile client instead of a desktop client to access email by 2016. "While the rise in popularity of mobile devices and the growing comfort with browser use for enterprise applications preordains a richer mix of email clients and access mechanisms, the pace of change over the next four years will be breathtaking," Gartner said. Moreover, smartphones and tablets represent more than 90 percent of the new net growth in device adoption for the coming four years.

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Gartner said the financial impact of cybercrime will grow 10 percent per year, due to the continuing discovery of new vulnerabilities through 2016. A lot of the new vulnerabilities will target mobile phones and tablets. Moreover, 40 percent of enterprises will make proof of independent security testing a precondition for using any type of cloud service.

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