Leaving aside the massive plug for Watson, this year’s IBM Tech Trends report shows a couple of interesting figures, not least of which is the fact that Android — and not iOS — looks like it will be the preferred platform for developers over the next two years.
The report, which has just been published, focuses on four areas that IBM says are, and will be, connected within the developer community until at least 2014. That is not to say that they won’t be interconnected long after that, it's just that Big Blue — even with Watson — isn’t willing to push it any further.
If you’ve been following us here at CMSWire, you will be more than familiar with the four areas. They are:
- Business analytics
- Mobile computing
- Cloud computing
- Social business
According to IBM, the trends are based on responses to a survey of more than 4,000 IT professionals in 25 industries across 93 countries.
Of some interest here is the fact that the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) offered, after the United States, the most responses from a geographical perspective, and the research presents conclusions and trends from the countries with the highest number of responses.
The result is that Tech Trends 2011 presents trends from the US and BRIC, and while there are undoubtedly responses from Europe and South America outside of Brazil — both significant markets — it is impossible to gauge how much input they had in the research, as the results just are not presented in that fashion.
But then maybe that says more about IBM and where its focus is, rather than anything to do with a lack of willingness by other countries to participate in any kind of global fashion to these kinds of surveys.
Remember the adage: Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have considered what they do not say.
Tech Trends 2011 Summarized
The four areas that IBM has focused on here are the areas that Big Blue says will be key to building a Smarter Planet, and correspond nicely with IBM’s own Smarter Planet initiative.
The research shows that business analytics is the most adopted technology in the group, with the least amount of resistance to their adoption, particularly as more enterprises are trying to make sense out of the blobs of Big Data that many are forced to leave undigested without these technologies.
Mobile technology is on the rise, but even with all the fuss around iPad, iPhone and iOS, IBM says that the research shows 70% of companies expecting to develop for the Android platform over the next two years, and only 49% for iOS.
Cloud computing will move beyond considerations of cost savings to infrastructure deployments and will focus more on application development in the cloud, while social business in some countries still has to surmount the security obstacle, depending on where you come from.
Specifically, then, here is what IBM has to say about each:
The big drive behind the adoption of business analytics is the ongoing battle to turn vast amounts of information into actionable reports and insights. In 42% of companies, it was cited as the main “in demand” area, with software development showing the highest adoption rates (90%).
In terms of verticals, the highest level of adoption is expected to be in: education, healthcare, life sciences, aerospace and software development. In the software space, 87% of respondents cite development in Apache, Hadoop and Linux in the next two years.
IBM: Predicted business analytics use in the coming two years
Half of the responding companies are currently not using analytics, with two-thirds of organizations saying there was less than a 50% increase in analytics work in their organization on concerns about integrating sophisticated analytics.
More organizations are building their own applications as mobile computing is now firmly rooted. Android has a large and growing installed base and is ranked by IBM as the top mobile platform over the coming two years.
Based on Java and XML, as an open source platform it has a much shorter learning curve, which has made it popular already with IT professionals. There is a geographical split here with iOS remaining popular in the US and other developed countries.
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