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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 13, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Gartner predicts: Mobile Web overtakes PCs, Facebook wins, more outsourcing

Research giant Gartner is sharing its predictions that “herald long-term changes in approach” for information technology in 2010 and beyond.

Some excerpts from the release:

— By 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide. According to Gartner’s PC installed-base forecast, the total number of PCs in use will reach 1.78 billion units in 2013. By 2013, the combined installed base of smartphones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will exceed 1.82 billion units and will be greater than the installed base for PCs thereafter.

— By 2012, 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets. Virtualization, cloud services and employees running their own PCs on corporate networks will contribute to this trend:

“The need for computing hardware, either in a data center or on an employee’s desk, will not go away. However, if the ownership of hardware shifts to third parties, then there will be major shifts throughout every facet of the IT hardware industry. For example, enterprise IT budgets will either be shrunk or reallocated to more-strategic projects; enterprise IT staff will either be reduced or reskilled to meet new requirements, and/or hardware distribution will have to change radically to meet the requirements of the new IT hardware buying points.”

— By 2012, India-centric IT companies will provide 20 percent of the cloud IT services.

“The collective work from India-centric vendors represents an important segment of the market’s cloud aggregators, which will offer cloud-enabled outsourcing options (also known as cloud services).”

— By 2012, Facebook’s interoperability will have made it “the hub for social network integration and Web socialization.”

“Other social networks (including Twitter) will continue to develop, seeking further adoption and specializations with communication or content areas, but Facebook will represent a common denominator for all of them.”

— By 2014, IT plans will include the carbon footprint. “Economic and political pressure to demonstrate responsibility for carbon dioxide emissions will force more businesses to quantify carbon costs in business cases. Vendors will have to provide carbon life cycle statistics for their products or face market share erosion. Incorporating carbon costs in business cases will only slightly accelerate replacement cycles. A reasonable estimate for the cost of carbon in typical IT operations is an incremental one or two percentage points of overall costs.”

— Internet marketing will be regulated by 2015, controlling more than $250 billion in Internet marketing spending worldwide. Consumers annoyed by spam and marketing clutter “will eventually drive legislation to regulate Internet marketing. Companies that focus primarily on the Internet for marketing purposes could find themselves unable to market effectively to customers, putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage when new regulations take effect. Although experiencing high growth, vendors who focus solely on, and sell predominately to, Internet marketing solutions could find themselves faced with a declining market, as companies shift marketing funds to other channels to compensate.”

— By 2014, more than 3 billion of the world’s adult population will be able to transact electronically via mobile or Internet technology. Emerging economies will see rapidly rising mobile and Internet adoption through 2014. At the same time, advances in mobile payment, commerce and banking are making it easier to electronically transact via mobile or PC Internet. Combining these two trends creates a situation in which a significant majority of the world’s adult population will be able to electronically transact by 2014.

— By 2014, mobile phone market penetration will reach 90 percent of the world and there will be 6.5 billion mobile connections. Penetration will not be uniform, as continents like Asia (excluding Japan) will see a 68 percent penetration and Africa will see a 56 percent mobile penetration. Although not every individual with a mobile phone or Internet access will transact electronically, each will have the ability to do so.

— By 2015, context will be as influential to mobile consumer services and relationships as search engines are to the Web. Whereas search provides the “key” to organizing information and services for the Web, context will provide the “key” to delivering hyperpersonalized experiences across smartphones and any session or experience an end user has with information technology. Search centered on creating content that drew attention and could be analyzed. Context will center on observing patterns, particularly location, presence and social interactions. Furthermore, whereas search was based on a “pull” of information from the Web, context-enriched services will, in many cases, prepopulate or push information to users.

New financial and regulatory oversight will affect most IT groups as they “navigate the economic recovery.” They’re also in a new era of accountability:

“For many organizations, the economic and budgetary challenges of 2009 drove important changes in the general governance of IT investment decisions, accelerating the trend toward greater accountability and transparency,” Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and chief Gartner fellow, said in the release. “With a strong emphasis on business-case justifications, chief financial officers (CFOs) assumed a more active role. Although most organizations enter 2010 preparing for a return to growth, this financial oversight is unlikely to be lifted anytime soon. For IT leaders, greater fluency in the language of business has become a requirement.”

Comments | More in | Topics: budgets, carbon emissions, forecast

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