Cloud services, mobile computing and social networking will mature and become a mainstream platform for the IT industry and the sectors these technologies support. That is according to researcher IDC.
“In 2011, we expect to see these transformative technologies make the critical transition from early adopter status to early mainstream adoption," said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC, in a press release.
IDC said it anticipates that spending on public IT cloud services will increase 30 percent from 2010 as organizations, including small and medium-sized businesses, move a broader array of business applications into the cloud.
“Meanwhile, the more nascent private cloud model will continue to evolve as infrastructure, software, and service providers collaborate on a range of new offerings and solutions," IDC stated.
As for mobile computing, Framingham, Mass.-based IDC forecasts that “shipments of app-capable, non-PC mobile devices," such as smartphones and media tablets, will exceed PC shipments within the next 18 months. IDC projects that nearly 25 billion mobile applications will be downloaded next year.
The researcher said it anticipates roughly 40 percent of small and medium-sized businesses will use “social networks for promotional purposes" by the end of next year.
“In retail, mobility and social networking are rapidly changing consumers’ shopping experience as they bring their smartphones into the store for on-site price comparisons and product recommendations," IDC noted. “In financial services, mobility and the cloud are bringing mobile banking and payments closer to reality."
IDC further forecasts the health care industry will see activity in mobile computing, with 14 percent of American adults using a “mobile health application in 2011."
The growth in these technologies partially reflects what IDC forecasts will total $1.6 trillion in worldwide IT spending in 2011. That figure represents a 5.7 percent increase over 2010.
“What really distinguishes the year ahead is that these disruptive technologies are finally being integrated with each other – cloud with mobile, mobile with social networking, social networking with ‘big data’ and real-time analytics," Gens added.