IDC Predicts 2013 Will Be Dominated by Mobile and Cloud Developments as the IT Industry Shifts Into Full-Blown Competition on the 3rd Platform
For the past several years, the IT industry's transition to the 3rd Platform, built on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data analytics technologies, has dominated the annual Predictions from International Data Corporation (IDC). For 2013, IDC predicts the transition to the 3rd Platform will shift into high gear as the industry accelerates past the exploration phase and into full-blown, high stakes competition.
"The IT industry as a whole is moving toward the mobile/social/cloud/big data world of the 3rd Platform much more quickly than many realize: from 2013 through 2020, these technologies will drive around 90% of all the growth in the IT market," said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC. "Companies that are not putting 80% or more of their competitive energy into this new market will be trapped in the legacy portion of the market, growing even slower than global GDP."
For 2013, IDC predicts worldwide IT spending will exceed $2.1 trillion, up 5.7% from 2012. The biggest category driving this growth will once again be smart mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, eReaders), which will grow by almost 20% in 2013 and generate nearly 57% of the industry's overall growth. Excluding mobile devices, the IT industry's growth is forecast to be just 2.9%. Among the other major IT categories, worldwide software and services spending are forecast to grow 6% and 4%, respectively. The PC and server markets are also expected to return to modest positive growth in 2013, aided in part by more favorable year-over-year comparisons.
On a regional basis, IT spending in emerging markets will grow by 8.8% in 2013 to more than $730 billion. While this figure represents 34% of all IT spending worldwide, it represents more than 50% of all new growth in the IT marketplace. The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) will continue to dominate IT spending among the emerging markets with China capturing more than a quarter of this spending. Equally important, developments in emerging markets will start to reshape key global markets because of their oversized share of industry growth. As an example, IDC expects China's ZTE to compete for a position among the world's top 3 smartphone makers based on its phenomenal growth rate and strong position in emerging markets.
As noted above, mobile devices will continue to be a significant driver of worldwide IT spending. But the anywhere, anytime access offered by these devices is also changing consumer behavior as more and more people turn to their smartphones and tablets as their primary means of going online. This trend will be further accelerated by the popular embrace of "mini tablets" (sub-8" tablets) in 2013. IDC predicts this segment will account for as much as 60% of the 170 million tablets shipped in 2013.
In the battle for primacy over the mobile operating system market, 2013 will be a critical year for Microsoft and Research In Motion. Both vendors need to capture much greater interest from mobile app developers to expand the number of apps that run on devices powered by their respective operating systems. Failure to do so by the end of 2013 will likely be the beginning of their demise in this market. Meanwhile, hardware vendors like Samsung will explore their OS options, including Linux/Tizen, as a hedge against the growing market dominance of Android.