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IT spending to hit 3.7 trillion by 2013

Tue 23 Oct 2012
FYI, this story is more than a year old

IT spending will break through the US$3.7 trillion mark next year thanks to an increase in big-data and cloud technology spending.

That is according to Gartner, who forecasts IT spending to rise in 2013 at a 3.8% increase from the 2012 projected spending of $3.6 trillion.

“By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created to support big data, generating 1.9 million IT jobs in the United States,” says Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research.

“In addition, every big data-related role in the U.S. will create employment for three people outside of IT, so over the next four years a total of 6 million jobs in the U.S. will be generated by the information economy.

“But there is a challenge. There is not enough talent in the industry. Our public and private education systems are failing us.

"Therefore, only one-third of the IT jobs will be filled. Data experts will be a scarce, valuable commodity.

"IT leaders will need immediate focus on how their organisation develops and attracts the skills required. These jobs will be needed to grow your business. These jobs are the future of the new information economy.”

Speaking to an audience of over 8,000 CIOs and IT leaders at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, the company says the IT industry is entering the Nexus of Forces, which includes a confluence and integration of cloud, social collaboration, mobile and information.

“This is a time of accelerating change, where your current IT architecture will be rendered obsolete,” Sondergaard says.

“You must lead through this change, selectively destroy low impact systems, and aggressively change your IT cost structure. This is the New World of the Nexus, the next age of computing.”


Gartner says the cloud is the carrier for the three other Forces: mobile is personal cloud, social media is only possible via the cloud, and big data is the killer app for the cloud meaning cloud will be the permanent fixture or the foundation.

“Cloud is not merely about cost-cutting, the end game is not just cheap on-demand services. In fact, 90 percent of these services are still subscription based, not pay-as-you-go,” Sondergaard says.

“We are just at the beginning of realizing the cost benefits of cloud, but organisations moving to the cloud are also attracted by the new capabilities they do not get today.

"It is bringing new approaches to designing applications, specifically for the cloud, and providing more resilience by architecturing failure as a design concept.

"Cloud also teaches us about services and service levels, and the contrast between what the business wants for outcomes versus IT’s old methods of getting there.”


By 2016, Gartner predicts over 1.6 billion smart mobile devices will be purchased globally with two-thirds of the mobile workforce owning a smartphone.

The challenge for IT leaders is determining what to do with this new channel to their customers and employees according to Sondergaard.

“Mobile is about computing at the right time, in the moment. It is the point of entry for all applications, delivering personalised, contextual experiences,” he says.

“It means: marketing gets more time with the customer; employees become more productive; and process flows get dramatically cut.”

In less than two years, iPads will be more common in business than Blackberries with Sondergaard claiming some CIOs are now placing orders for tens of thousands of iPads at a time.

Further estimates includes by two years from now, 20% of sales organisations will use tablets as the primary mobile platform for their field sales force.

Consequently, by 2018, 70% of mobile workers will use a tablet or a hybrid device that has tablet-like characteristics.

Gartner forecasts that in 2016, half of all non-PC devices will be purchased by employees. By the end of the decade, half of all devices in business will be purchased by employees.

Social Computing

With social computing set to become even more important and companies establishing social media as a discipline, Gartner predicts in three years, ten organisations will each spend more than $1 billion on social media.

“Social computing is moving from being just on the outside of the organisation to being at the core of business operations,” Sondergaard says.

“It is changing the fundamentals of management: how you establish a sense of purpose and motivate people to act.

"Social computing will move organisations from hierarchical structures and defined teams to communities that can cross any organisational boundary.”

Big Data

In a final address to the audience, Sondergaard suggested big data creates a new layer in the economy which is all about information, turning information, or data, into revenue.

The outcome of this he believes will be accelerated growth in the global economy and the creation of jobs.

“Big data is about looking ahead, beyond what everybody else sees,” Sondergaard says.

“You need to understand how to deal with hybrid data, meaning the combination of structured and unstructured data, and how you shine a light on ‘dark data.’

"Dark data is the data being collected, but going unused despite its value.

"Leading organisations of the future will be distinguished by the quality of their predictive algorithms.

"This is the CIO challenge, and opportunity.”

What do you make of Gartner's predictions for the IT industry? Tell us your thoughts below

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