IDC Predicts 2012 Surge for Mobile, Cloud

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December 1, 2011 – Mobile devices and network capabilities will lead growth areas in IT and information management in 2012, with cloud services adoption and enablement not far behind, according to IDC’s annual market predictions.

Most of the 10 top expectations for the coming year carried over from trends IDC anticipated for 2011. But its predictions report, “Competing for 2020,” brought along a wide-angle view for 2012 and going forward through the next decade. Predictions were winnowed from contributions by about 1,000 IDC analysts in a range of fields covering IT, information management and mobile communications, and were reduced to 10 based on growth opportunity, industry-wide impact and structural disruption.

Topping IDC’s predictions once again was the vast increase in worldwide IT spending, anticipated to go up 6.9 percent to $1.8 trillion in 2012. However, IDC warned of financial and disaster disruptions to this growth, like the worst-case-scenario of the total unraveling of the Euro that IDC stated could push the increase in IT spending down to 2 percent or less in 2012. Growth in emerging markets was the second-place choice driving overall IT changes, and IDC pegged emerging market spending to more than triple current levels to reach 53 percent of all worldwide IT spending in 2012.

Mobile communications ranked twice on the list: in third place, mobile growth will stem from an increase in devices, lowered price points due to emerging markets, and an explosion of apps for home and business; and sixth, with the expectations of mobile network growth and access worldwide. As part of mobile’s expected dominance in 2012, IDC stated that it will be a “make-or-break” year for mobile products from Microsoft, HP and RIM.

Also continuing to make a big splash through 2012 is cloud computing. IDC foresees cloud spending to top $36 billion next year, which is four-times the overall IT industry rate of growth. It ranked expanding cloud adoption fourth in its 2012 list, bringing along expectations of a slew of cloud and as-a-service acquisitions and the development of many more cloud applications. Increased cloud services enablement came in at number five, with 2012 turning into a watershed year for shifting away from self-built systems, and cloud systems management software to increase by 62 percent next year, IDC stated.

During a Web seminar on the predictions, IDC chief analyst and senior vice president Frank Gens said his research and advisory firm made the connection between predictions for 2012 and the outlook for eight years from now based on a generational shift in tech platform adoption and innovation underway. With that in mind, Gens said it is reasonable to think IT spending could hit $5 trillion worldwide by 2020, led by investment and innovation from mobile tech and the cloud.

“It’s easy to see that these technologies will inevitably become the vast majority of all IT spending,” says Gens.

Rounding out the expectations for 2012 are emergence of big data analytics and mash-ups (7); increasingly sophisticated social business capabilities (8); an increase in “intelligent” communications devices tapped into networks (9); and the development of smarter industry solutions in such areas as financial security apps and green tech (10). Gone from IDC’s list of predictions for 2011 are added broadband dedications and delivery, and the growth of consumer Web television.

For more on the predictions, check out IDC’s presentation on-demand here.

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