Crystal ball sees tepid IT growth to 2014
We're not gonna party like it's 1999
If you were expecting the IT market to suddenly start expanding again like it was 1999, you are in for a splash of cold water in the face to wake you from that dream.
According to the prognosticators at Gartner, IT spending is on track to hit $2.4 trillion in 2010, up 2.4 per cent compared to last year. This may not sound like a lot, but the IT industry is very large (especially when you toss in telecom costs, as this data does, alongside hardware, software, and services spending) and like a large body of water, it takes a long time to change its temperature even a little. There was definitely some ice on the hardware surface of the IT market in late 2008 and early 2009, but this has largely thawed.
However, Peter Sondergaard, a senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research, told attendees at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo recently not to expect a lot of growth. The latest projections are for global IT spending to rise 3.1 per cent in 2011, kissing 2.5 trillion, but Sondergaard cautioned that the next five years will be characterized by "timid and at times lackluster growth," with global IT expenditures reaching only $2.8 trillion by 2014.
"Several key vertical industries, such as manufacturing and financial services, will not see IT budgets recover to pre-2008 levels before 2012 or 2013," Sondergaard warned. "Emerging economies continue to be the locomotive of enterprise IT spending, substantially outpacing developed economies."
If you want to be where the action is, then it is out there in the cloud and doing social computing. Probably things that many of you are allergic to or, more likely, you can't envision your company getting involved in at this point given your long history in doing IT your own way.
"The rigid business processes which dominate enterprise organizational architectures today are well suited for routine, predictable business activities," Sondergaard said. "But they are poorly suited to support people whose jobs require discovery, interpretation, negotiation, and complex decision making. Social computing - not Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn, but the technologies and principals behind them - will be implemented across and between all organizations, it will unleash yet to be realized productivity growth, it will contribute to economic growth."
Either that or it will end up being a colossal waste of time, as the Internet sure was for the first decade or so at many companies. Come on, admit how much time your company wasted on Internet development and how much time employees waste staring at their screens, looking like they are doing work. In the end, for lots of us out there who work for the Internet - notice how I did not say on it? - we have had to learn to avoid distractions and actually do our work.
In many cases, the Internet and the interconnections up and down the supply chain and between companies and customers have meant fewer people actually got to keep their jobs. That is real change and, of course, that is a far cry from making your company (instead of Google or Facebook or Amazon or eBay) some money with new social technologies. It may be that, in the end, what happens is much less attractive and a massive consolidation of computing power and business intelligence about everything we do ends up in very few hands and is largely beyond our control.
If you want to see some of Sondergaard's presentation at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, you can check it out on YouTube here. ®
Saying the internet is a waste of time because some bored IT workers spent time staring at screens rather than congregating around the watercooler/whatever ppl did when they were pretending to work before the internet is arse. So all the trillions generated by online commerce - bank transactions and all the hardware and software to support them is nullified by a few bored people staring at screens instead of x,y or z? (Whether you see it as worthwhile or not systems like CLS's that handle a million transactions a day at a value of 10+ trillion a day are not insignificant and would not exist without the internet)
Probably one of the daftest and biggest 'misses the point entirely'isms I've ever seen on the Reg, and I've seen a few :-)
Although I partly agree with the analysis on social computing, helping people and businesses communicate was what made the internet so important. Social computing provides a similar degree of revolution on the surface but it will be very gradual and not have anywhere near the overall impact IMO.
Quote from my fiancee is relevant here:
"Try working in a business environment with the Twitter generation and then get back to me."
As someone who must suffer this myself...I have to say that I don't see the valuable opportunities presented by "social media" except as either a) a communications tool or b) a for of propaganda/brainwashing for the easily distracted.
As a communications tool, I am disinterested. I can see how it might appeal to some…but only in that this is the tool they were raised on. Just as previous tools have displaced those that came before, eventually social networking will do away with (or largely supplant) things like IM, e-mail and the like.
As a brainwashing tool…I’d like to have someone on my team that can speak this language and confuse the walking wallets of the world…but I sure as hell don’t want to work with anyone who falls for this crap.
When did we forget that computers are tools designed to make our lives easier? They are nothing more than a solution to a problem. When we start thinking that they can magically “produce economic growth” without being tied to tangible real-world events like manufacturing, providing services or heaven forbid actual jobs then we are screwed. We thought the same thing about “financial services” in the nineties and the aughties. Don’t buy into the smoke and voodoo one more time.
"Annual shipments for tablet devices will reach 81 million by 2015, as new players and handset manufacturers flood the market." - Juniper story last week.
Another yawny pontificate.
Plan A: make somethng really good that is unique - result sales explosion
Plan B: mee-too yourself a slot in existing maketplace - result sales trickle
Nothing wrong with plan B - if you are underpinning foundations or re-plastering cracked walls. To throw up a palace in a swamp you need plan A