Researcher IDC has launched its forecast for the next 12 months and, surprise surprise, sees cloud computing and mobile cloud computing in particular as being a major if not dominant factor in the technology stakes. Furthermore, IDC believes the “third platform” will be built on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking and Big Data analytics technologies.

This sort of vindicates me in that about two years ago I was at an informal dinner with some Microsoft employees/executives and on learning that I wrote this blog asked me what I thought the future of business computing was and I relied “mobile.” I must confess that I was a bit surprised by the look of puzzlement on their faces but then this was a company that squandered its early lead in mobile computing with its early PDS platform which took on Palm!

Driving growth

“The IT industry as a whole is moving toward the mobile/social/cloud/Big Data world of the Third Platform much more quickly than many realize: from 2013 through 2020, these technologies will drive around 90 percent of all the growth in the IT market,” said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC, according to an article in Biztech2. “Companies that are not putting 80 percent 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.”

The article continues: “Cloud will also be a powerful contributor to industry developments in 2013 with the merger & acquisition (M&A) activity of the past 20 months actually accelerating. IDC expects to see more than $25 billion in acquisitions over the next 20 months as cloud services become the centerpiece of more and more vendors’ offerings. As packaged application become software as a service (SaaS) providers themselves, they will increasingly battle with SaaS pure plays for leadership in some of the major application software markets.”


Elsewhere in the cloud, IDC expects 2013 will see an explosion in industry PaaS (public platform as a service) offerings as the market moves up the software stack and “horizontal” PaaS becomes commoditized by platforms built on open source-based infrastructure.

I might be tempted to dust off my crystal balls and do my own forecast for 2013 and if I do you can be sure that BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and BYOA (Bring Your Own Application) will feature heavily. The idea that employees might be accessing a company’s crown jewels via their iPad or smartphone might send tremors of fear down the spine of senior management but they can bet their asses that not only is it happening but it will grow.

Over the forthcoming festive period I shall gather my thoughts and try and make some cohesive compilation of how I think 2013 will pan out.