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Worldwide enterprise IT spending to reach $2.7 tn in 2012, Gartner says

Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of Research, Gartner

Worldwide enterprise IT spending is projected to total $2.7 trillion in 2012, a 3.9 percent increase from 2011 spending of $2.6 trillion, according to Gartner.

While enterprise IT spending growth is slowing (from the expected 5.9 percent increase in 2011), analysts said it’s important to note that despite the global economic challenges, enterprises will continue to invest in IT.

Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of Research at Gartner, provided the latest outlook for the IT industry today to an audience of 8,500 CIOs and IT leaders at Gartner Symposium ITexpo, which is taking place through October 20 in Orlando.

“The days when IT was the passive observer of the world are over. Global politics and the global economy are being shaped by IT,” Sondergaard said. “IT is a primary driver of business growth. For example, this year 350 companies will each invest more than $1 billion in IT. They are doing this because IT impacts their business performance.”

Sondergaard said two-thirds of CEOs believe IT will make a greater contribution to their industry in the next 10 years than any prior decades.

“For the IT leader to thrive in this environment, IT leaders must lead from the front and re-imagine IT,” Sondergaard said. “IT leaders must embrace the post-modern business, a business driven by customer relationships, fueled by the explosion in information, collaboration, and mobility.”

This new era brings with it urgent and compelling forces. They include: the cloud, social, mobility, and an explosion in information.

Gartner estimates that while $74 billion was spent on public cloud services in 2010, that only represented 3% of enterprise spending. But, public cloud services will grow five times faster than overall IT enterprise spending (19% annually through 2015).

“With 1.2 billion people on social networks, 20% of the world’s population, social computing is in its next phase,” he said. “IT leaders must immediately incorporate social software capabilities throughout their enterprise systems.”

“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine,” Sondergaard said. “Pursuing this strategically will create an unprecedented amount of information of enormous variety and complexity. This is leading to a change in data management strategies known as big data. This creates what we call a Pattern-Based Strategy architecture. An architecture that seeks signals, models them for their impact, and then adapt to the business process of the organisation”

“These forces are innovative and disruptive just taken on their own, but brought together, they are revolutionising business and society,” Sondergaard said. “This nexus defines the next age of computing. To understand this change, you must appreciate each of the forces.”

He predicted that the impact of these forces will make architectures of the last 20 years obsolete,because they will drive the market to create the post-modern business, drive simplicity and force creative destruction.

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