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10/23/2012
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Gartner: 2013 Tech Spending To Hit $3.7 Trillion

CIOs need to spend on finding and building a pool of big data skills, Gartner execs say.

8 CEOs Speak: IT Projects That Matter Most
8 CEOs Speak: IT Projects That Matter Most
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Every budget is an IT budget," according to Peter Sondergaard, senior VP at Gartner and the opening speaker at this year's Gartner Symposium/ITxpo.

While that budget news is probably a surprise to all those CIOs currently in the throes of creating their yearly IT budget, the message makes some sense as the influences of mobile, cloud computing, social networking, and big data roil the corporate marketplace. Gartner, which is in the business of technology consulting and as such needs to create a new buzz phrase each year, calls this roiling the "nexus of forces" as technology spending increasingly accelerates outside of the IT departments.

Marketing departments are spending on social networks, sales departments are signing up cloud-based CRM, and individuals with credit cards are signing up for Dropbox accounts--all examples of the spread of technology budgets outside of IT. This seeping of technology beyond the confines of IT is not new, what is new is the acceleration of the spending. While the acceleration will vary by departments the trend is evident throughout the corporate environment. Sondergaard says, for example, by 2018 manufacturing will spend 90% of their technology budget outside of IT.

For those interested in trying to track IT spending, Gartner predicted at its conference that worldwide IT spending will surpass $3.7 trillion in 2013, which is a 3.8% increase from 2012. Major growth drivers include big data projects, cloud computing, and mobile. Worldwide IT spending will surpass $4 trillion by 2015.

While budget forecasts are just that--an educated guess at spending--the trends in technology were evident in both the keynoters and those tweeting in the audience. The role of the CIO is in the midst of changing from doing more with less to doing more with digital innovation. As Gartner research VP Mary Mesaglio said, "The CIO should not spend time automating back office but digitizing the interface between enterprise and customer."

[ The key to success is asking the right questions. Read Will CMOs Outspend CIOs? Wrong Question. ]

There were two notable data points made during this year's Gartner opening session.

First was the projected rise in IT employment particularly as it relates to big data and the forecasted inability to fill that need. The Gartner analysts predicted that by 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created to support big data with 1.9 million of those jobs in the United States. That employment projection carries further weight when, as the Gartner analysts pointed out, each of those jobs will create employment for three more people outside of IT.

However, while the jobs will be created, there is no assurance that there will be employees to fill those positions. Sondergaard provided the dour prediction that only one-third of the jobs will be filled due to a lack of skilled big data applicants. One of the biggest tasks for CIOs is to rethink how to hire and train a workforce able to meet this demand for big data talent.

The other data point was what Gartner predicted would be a lackluster corporate reception to Windows 8. Sondergaard said there was no compelling reason for corporations to rapidly move to Windows 8 and further said, "90% of enterprises will bypass broad scale deployment of Windows 8 to at least 2014."

If Gartner is correct, those CIOs building budgets should be allocating their dollars to developing big data skills within their workforce rather than deploying Microsoft's new operating system.

Other data points of note made during the opening session included:

-- From 2011 to 2016, the business process services market will double in size to $145 billion as companies look for new efficiencies in the way they conduct business.

-- In two years, 20% of sales organizations will use tablets as the primary platform for field sales.

-- By 2015, 15% of all social media reviews and recommendations will come from social media participants being paid to write the reviews.

-- And in one data point, which IT can take as either a knock or an opportunity, 80% of executives today can name a critical piece of information they need but that IT is unable to provide.

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