Knowledge is behind the predicted 3% rise that will push global IT spending up to £1.58tn ($2.5tn) in 2011, according to Gartner. It is the emerging markets – such as China and South America (rather than Europe and North America), which are behind the push as companies in these areas prepare for new knowledge economy jobs.

“At the heart of the change over the next 20 years will be intelligence drawn from information,” said Peter Sondergaard, a Gartner senior VP and global head of research. “Information will be the ‘oil of the 21st century.”

Cloud computing will be the main disruptor to the IT world. It will alter how investors view technology providers – the financial model will change and vertical industries with it. Social computing will be used more via new business orientated software enabling more collaborative working.

As software improves context-aware computing will come into it’s own by predicting user preferences (from past information). And, last, but not least – consumer needs. Companies will use patterns of information to insure business practices respond to the consumer in the correct context.

The enterprise business model and strategy is set to change for good – the above trends will force IT to follow. Sondergaard backs up the incredible force driving these new powers.

“The combination of these four trends creates an unimaginable force impacting not just IT and the IT industry, but the capability of business and government.”