Also on the horizon, according to IDC's predictions:
- Mini tablet surge: The tablet market will grow by at least 42 percent to more than 170 million units in 2013. Mini tablets with screens smaller than 8 inches will account for as much as 60 percent of unit shipments, up significantly from 33 percent in 2012.
- Mobile platform rationalization: If a mobile platform doesn't get at least 50 percent of developers interested in developing apps on it, its demise is imminent. Vulnerable platforms include Microsoft, which today has attracted about 33 percent of developers, and RIM, which has about 9 percent developer interest.
- SaaS a hot buy: IDC is predicting $25 billion in SaaS acquisitions over the next 20 months, up from $17 billion in the past 20 months.
- PaaS growth spurt: IDC is forecasting a tenfold increase in the number of industry-focused platform as a service (PaaS) offerings, which numbered fewer than 100 in 2012. More broadly focused cloud platforms, such as Salesforce.com's Force.com, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, will become more commoditized, the firm says.
- Rise of business execs making IT decisions: By 2016, 80 percent of new IT investments will directly involve line-of-business executives. At least half the time, the line-of-business executive will be the lead decision maker.
- BYOD security: Even enterprise security isn't immune from the consumerization trend. Citing what it calls a "Bring your own ID" trend, IDC predicts that "many more enterprises, and the security software and services vendors that serve them, will use the identity management systems of Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and other consumer social networks and cloud services as a new foundation for enterprise authentication."
- Big data buying spree: Mergers and acquisitions in the big data area will see vendors adding more discovery, predictive analytics, and text- and rich-media analytics technologies to their portfolios.
Ann Bednarz covers IT careers, outsourcing and Internet culture for Network World. Follow Ann on Twitter at @annbednarz and check out her blog, Occupational Hazards. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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