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Gartner: How big trends in security, mobile, big data and cloud computing will change IT

A quick roundup of IT trends, from Android adoption to cloud security

By , Network World
October 30, 2012 09:35 AM ET

Network World - When you go to a Gartner conference one of he main things you'll notice is the sheer volume of data they can generate on just about any IT topic. Last week's Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Fla., was no different. The conference, attended by some 9,000 executives focused on the changes security challenges, mobile computing, big data and cloud will be bringing to IT in the near future.

Trying to get through it all can be daunting so we've tried to simplify that process by distilling a variety of Gartner ITxpo presentations and coming up with the most salient information.

So here goes. From the Gartner analysts, presentations on:

The world of IT

• Worldwide IT spending is forecast to surpass $3.7 trillion in 2013, a 3.8% increase from 2012's projected spending of $3.6 trillion, but it's the outlook for big data that is creating much excitement. That's because 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. Big data creates a new layer in the economy which is all about information, turning information, or data, into revenue. In 2013, big data is forecast to drive $34 billion of IT spending.

Most of the current spending is used in adapting traditional solutions to the big data demands -- machine data, social data, widely varied data, unpredictable velocity, and so on -- and only $4.3 billion in software sales will be driven directly by demands for new big data functionality in 2012.

• Big data currently has the most significant impact in social network analysis and content analytics with 45% of new spending each year.

• Twelve years ago technology spending outside of IT was 20% of total technology spending; it will become almost 90% by the end of the decade.

• Organizations will create the role of a chief digital officer as part of the business unit leadership, which will become a new seat at the executive table. Gartner predicts that by 2015, 25% of organizations will have a chief digital officer.

"The chief digital officer will prove to be the most exciting strategic role in the decade ahead, and IT leaders have the opportunity to be the leaders who will define it," said David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "The chief digital officer plays in the place where the enterprise meets the customer, where the revenue is generated and the mission accomplished. They're in charge of the digital business strategy. That's a long way from running back office IT, and it's full of opportunity."

• In the next three years, the dominant consumer social networks will see the limits of their growth. However, social computing will become even more important. Companies are establishing social media as a discipline. Gartner predicts that in three years, 10 organizations will each spend more than $1 billion on social media.

"Social computing is moving from being just on the outside of the organization to being at the core of business operations," said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research. "It is changing the fundamentals of management: how you establish a sense of purpose and motivate people to act. Social computing will move organizations from hierarchical structures and defined teams to communities that can cross any organizational boundary."

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