There are many reasons for the IT industry to be optimistic about the future, according to speakers at this year’s Intellect Annual Regent Conference in London.
David Callaghan, deputy president of Intellect and country leader and senior VP of Oracle UK, said: “There is still a lot of growth, with mobile and cloud, for example. It is time to be optimistic.”
His comments were based on predictions from analysts who have forecast growth in the industry over the next few years.
Stephen Minton, VP of IDC Worldwide IT Markets, forecast a six percent growth over the next three to four years in the IT sector, driven by the explosion of information, proliferation of mobile devices and cloud computing.
“We are optimistic. Within the IT industry, the pent-up demand for spending is still there. The likelihood of a double-dip recession is clearly lower than it was six months ago,” said Minton.
IDC believes that the information explosion will lead to a surge in demand for storage and servers, as IT managers try to manage and extract value from the mass of unstructured data.
“Over the next five years, everywhere you can think of putting a sensor, in the car, in the home, there will be one. A recent focus group of CIOs said that their priorities were getting real-time access to the data, and turning the data into something of business value,” said Minton.
He also believes that the number of mobile devices will continue to surge, with an emphasis on tablets.
“Tablets will be the big story of the next 12 months, and it will move beyond the Apple iPad. It will lead to the continued growth in applications, particularly business applications,” Minton added.
Minton said that 2011 will be the “big year for the cloud”, and that by the end of this year, “you will be convinced that this is more than a marketing story”.
He said that there has been “pretty strong growth” in cloud, which has so far mainly occurred outside Europe, in countries like the US.
“Twelve percent of server and storage spending this year will be coming from cloud service providers. By 2013, a fifth [of server and storage spend] will be from cloud computing providers,” Minton said.
Anthony Miller, managing partner of analyst house TechMarketView, is also a strong believer in the growth opportunities presented by the cloud.
Not only did he believe that the UK cloud market would grow by 26 percent compound annual growth by 2014, but also:
“By the end of 2014, the UK cloud market will represent 15 percent of total UK Software and IT Services (SITS).”
However, Miller believed that the roll-out of the government’s G-Cloud would be slower than expected.
“We think small, different clouds will appear in the public sector, firstly in the education sector to share services,” Miller said, citing schools being in charge of their own budgets as one of the trigger reasons.
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