Mobile, Cloud Expected to Dominate Enterprise Computing by 2015

IBM survey notes skill shift needed to drive business growth

According to the 2010 IBM Tech Trends Survey, IT pros expect mobile and cloud computing to be the platforms in highest demand for software application development and IT delivery during the next five years.

Over half (55 percent) of all IT professionals surveyed "expect mobile software application development for devices such as iPhone and Android, and even tablet PCs like iPad and PlayBook, will surpass application development on all other traditional computing platforms by 2015," IBM said.

Analysts predict mobile applications sales will enjoy strong growth during the next three years, with revenue estimates of $6.2 billion this year to almost $30 billion by 2013.

IBM offers free mobile computing resources though its IBM developerWorks, which helps developers build mobile apps for platforms including the iPhone, iPad, HTML5, and Android. The developerWorks application helps "IT professionals to explore and discover developerWorks content and community, connect with other IT professionals and subject matter experts, and seek out opportunities to share expertise on IBM products, solutions and open standard technologies," according to its Web site.

The IBM survey also found that:

  • Respondents expect cloud technology will take over; 91 percent predicted cloud computing will "overtake on-premise computing as the primary way organizations acquire IT over the next five years"

  • After mobile and cloud computing, social media and business analytics will be the hottest IT career areas beginning next year; career growth will be strongest in telecommunications, financial services, health care, and energy and utilities firms

  • There is a split between what skills are needed and what pros have: "90 percent believe it is important to possess vertical industry-specific skills for their jobs, yet 63 percent admit they are lacking the industry knowledge needed to remain competitive" according to IBM

The online survey was conducted by IBM developerWorks of its eight million registered users in August and September 2010; 2,000 IT developers and specialists from 87 countries participated. IT professionals had expertise in "enterprise and web application development, system and network administration, and software testing and architecture."

To help fill the skills gap, IBM announced new, no-cost resources, such as online workshops, tutorials, technical resources, and social networking tools, and four virtual events in October about cloud computing, and online forums, articles, and tutorials designed for developers working in the banking, chemical and petroleum, energy and utilities, health-care, and government sectors.

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