Cloud, mobile and social to ‘coalesce’


Cloud services, mobile computing and social networking will mature in 2011 and beyond before combining to form an entirely new platform, an analyst firm has suggested.

These "transformative technologies" will move from early adopter status to early mainstream adoption, said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC.

"As a result, we'll see the IT industry revolving more and more around the build-out and adoption of this next dominant platform, characterised by mobility, cloud-based application and service delivery, and value-generating overlays of social business and pervasive analytics," Gens said.

"In addition to creating new markets and opportunities, this restructuring will overthrow nearly every assumption about who the industry's leaders will be and how they establish and maintain leadership."

Gens said these technologies were starting to be integrated already, with cloud and mobile linking up, and social networking hooking up with real-time analytics.

"As a result, these once-emerging technologies can no longer be invested in, or managed, as sandbox efforts around the edges of the market," he added.

"Instead, they are rapidly becoming the market itself and must be addressed accordingly."

Helping push this transition will be a good year for IT spending in 2011.

IDC has forecast worldwide IT spending will stand at $1.6 trillion (1.02 trillion) next year, representing an increase of 5.7 per cent over 2010.

Despite this positive outlook, Gartner recently lowered its PC shipments forecast, although the analyst firm cited tablet popularity as a key driver behind this trend.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.