Demand for mobile computing, cloud services, big data and analytics and social networking — which together form a technology platform that market researcher IDC is calling “the 3rd platform — will help drive a 5 percent jump in worldwide spending on information technology in 2014 to $2.1 trillion.
Apple, Google, Samsung and Amazon will be among the prime beneficiaries.
Spending on those 3rd platform technologies will grow 15 percent year over year and account for 89 percent of IT spending growth, IDC said in its list of 2014 predictions for the tech industry released today. Sales of smartphones and tablets will continue at a “torrid pace” and spending on servers, storage, networks, software, and services see a revival. The news isn’t so bright for PCs, with the market remaining “under stress” as PC sales are expected to decline 6 percent.
“We’ll see every major player make big investments to scale up cloud, mobile, and big data capabilities, and fiercely battle for the hearts and minds of the developers who will create the solutions driving the next two decades of IT spending,” said Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC. “Outside the IT industry, 3rd platform technologies will play a leading role in the disruption — or “Amazoning” — of almost every other industry on the planet.”
Here are seven other tech predictions from IDC. You can see the complete list here.
1. Emerging markets revival. Demand for tech in emerging market will “return to double-digit growth of 10 percent, driving nearly $740 billion or 35% of worldwide IT revenues and, for the first time, more than 60% of worldwide IT spending growth. In the BRIC countries, IT spending will grow by 13% year over year, led by an economic recovery in China. In dollar terms, China’s IT spending growth will match that of the United States, even though the Chinese market is only one third the size of the U.S. market. Elsewhere, emerging market growth will be uneven, ushering in the beginning of a new “Post-BRIC” era.”
2. Platform as a service. “Value will start to migrate “up the stack”, from infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to platform as a service (PaaS) and from generic PaaS to data-optimized PaaS. The latter will be most evident as Amazon Web Services rolls out an avalanche of platform-as-a-service offerings for developers and higher value services for businesses. This will force incumbent IT suppliers – the companies that won market leadership in the 2nd Platform era – to urgently reconfigure themselves to fight for position in the 3rd Platform marketplace. Joining them in the fight will be Google, which will realize it is at risk of being boxed out of a market where it should be vying for leadership.”
3. Mobile keeps ruling. Sales of tablets is expected to rise by 18 percent and smartphones by 12 percent. “The Android community, led by Samsung, will maintain its volume advantage over Apple, while Apple will hold onto its value edge with higher average selling prices and an established ecosystem of apps,” IDC says. But Google will grain ground. “Google Play (Android) app downloads and revenues are making dramatic gains and the ‘app ecosystem value gap’ will be significantly narrowed in 2014. And the clock will be ticking louder for Microsoft, which needs to quickly double mobile developer interest in Windows.”
4. Money in the cloud. Cloud spending, including services and the technology needed to enable these services, will surge by 25 percent in 2014, topping $100 billion. IDC predicts a “dramatic increase in the number of datacenters as cloud players race to achieve global scale. This will be accompanied by a similar expansion in the variety of workload-specialized cloud infrastructure services, leading to new forms of differentiation among cloud service providers. Finally, a pitched battle will be joined for the developers that can create the cloud-based applications and solutions that will fuel the market’s growth.”
5. Big data equals big spending. Sales of big data technologies and services will grow by 30 percent in 2014, “surpassing $14 billion as demand for big data analytics skills continues to outstrip supply. Here the race will be on to develop “data-optimized cloud platforms”, capable of leveraging high volumes of data and/or real-time data streams.”
6. No more social layer. Social technologies will become even more tied into enterprise applications over the next 12-18 months. In addition to being used for “customer engagement and marketing strategies, data from social applications will feed the product and service development process. IDC expects enterprise social networks will become increasingly available as standard offerings from cloud services providers. This will enable enterprises to further embed social into the workflow, rather than having a separate “social layer.”
7. The Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) will move beyond smartphones, tablets and PCs in 2014. “New industry partnerships to emerge as traditional IT vendors accelerate their partnerships with global telecom service providers and semiconductor vendors to create integrated offerings in the consumer electronics and connected device spaces. This kind of collaboration and coordination will be necessary to reach the 30 billion autonomously connected end points and $8.9 trillion in revenues that IDC believes the IoT will generate by 2020.”