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Analyst predictions for 2012

Analyst predictions for 2012
December 15, 2011in Technology2011-12-152013-03-18technologyen
It's that time of year again. The Christmas decorations are out, the tills are ringing at retailers and the analysts are coming up with their annual predictions. We thought we'd round up some of their more interesting findings. Despite the ongoing economic gloom, analyst IDC predicts...
analyst predictions for 2012
It's that time of year again. The Christmas decorations are out, the tills are ringing at retailers and the analysts are coming up with their annual predictions. We thought we'd round up some of their more interesting findings. 
Despite the ongoing economic gloom, analyst IDC predicts that worldwide IT spending will grow in 2012 by nearly 7% to $1.8 trillion. The main drivers for this growth are in new wave technologies, such as big data analytics, smartphones, tablets, mobility and social networking. Unsurprisingly emerging markets will account for more than half of all this growth in 2012, with the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries leading the charge. Other fast growing countries IDC has identified include Indonesia, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.
big data
Big data will become a big issue in 2012, says IDC, because of the sheer size of digital content requirements. It predicts that digital content will grow to 2.7 zettabytes (ZB) in 2012, up 48% from 2011. The vast majority of this information (90%) will be unstructured content such as videos, images and web. Although full of rich information, unstructured data is difficult to analyze, making big data analytics a key investment area in 2012.
Analyst Gartner warns that companies will find it difficult to extract information from big data. In its annual predictions, Gartner says that fewer than 15% of organizations will exploit big data for competitive advantage, all the way through to 2015. It warns that data analysis alone is not enough, the information must be available in a timely fashion so that it can be used productively for business decisions. Because organizations are ill-prepared to meet these management challenges, few will be able to gain the most from big data analytics. 
Cloud computing will continue to be a major area of focus in 2012 as it moves more into the mainstream. Gartner says that more than half of Global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the cloud by 2016. It reckons that more than 20% of organizations have already begun to store this data in hybrid clouds, which combines their own infrastructure with a cloud provider's. As a side note, it's interesting  that Gartner believes that by 2015, 80% of cloud services will include a global energy surcharge.
IDC says that competition will be the watchword for cloud computing in 2012, as providers move away focusing on building their infrastructure to creating application platforms. It predicts that revenues in Amazon Web Services will exceed $1 billion in 2012 and that there will be a merger and acquisition (M&A) frenzy as enterprise players try to dominate the market. 
Enterprises looking to cloud services will also want to guarantee the security of their data and applications. In fact Gartner says that 40% of enterprises will ask their providers to offer proof of independent security testing before they use their service by 2016. It believes that independent certification of security testing may in fact replace the security testing that enterprises will carry out as part of their due diligence before adopting a specific service.  
Ensuring security throughout the enterprise is essential with the treat of cybercrime not abating any time soon. In fact Gartner predicts that the financial impact of cybercrime will grow by 10% year on year all the way through to 2016. This is driven through the inevitable discovery of new vulnerabilities and continued targeted attacks against enterprises. 
The final hot topic is mobility. IDC grandly predicts that 2012 will be the "Year of Mobile Ascendancy" as mobile devices overtake PCs in shipments and spending and mobile apps reach 85 billion downloads. Competition will continue to be fierce in the smartphone and table markets as Microsoft battles for position in smartphones and Amazon looks to challenge the iPad in the tablet market. 
The Yankee Group has a range of predictions about the mobile market in 2012. It says that Asia will be the leading market for tablet sales in 2012 with almost 39 million sold. The three leading smartphones will continue to be Android, Blackberry and Apple in 2012, fending off the challenge of Microsoft. Not all is positive for Android, however, with Yankee predicting that more than half of malware signatures will target that platform, up from 40% in 2011. And finally Yankee says that 2012 will see the mass deployment of 3G/4G based M2M in North America. Almost three-quarters of new M2M deployments will use these networks by 2013, it says. 
And for all of you who remain skeptical about analyst predictions, ABI Research has published its "What's NOT Going to Happen in 2012?" report that pours cold water on some of the more enthusiastic forecasts.

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