IDC: Mobile Drives 57% of IT Growth 2013

Research firm IDC has released projections for IT growth in 2013, reports Network World:

In the big picture, IDC says worldwide IT spending in 2013 will exceed $2.1 trillion, up 5.7% from 2012. The biggest driver of that growth will be mobility: Sales of smart mobile devices including smartphones and tablets will grow by 20%, generate 20% of all IT sales, and drive a whopping 57% of all IT market growth. Excluding smart mobile devices, IT industry growth will be just 2.9%.

Those numbers might be a big confusing, so let’s make sure we’re clear here. Mobile devices will make up 57% of the 5.7% IT growth, or about 3.25% IT growth. Mobile devices as a single category will grow by 20% and generate 20% of all IT sales in 2013.

So, mobile is where it’s at. That shouldn’t surprise Leverhawk readers; we have identified mobile technologies as one of the key IT levers of the future. What’s fueling that growth?

Another driver of industry growth is emerging markets, where IT spending is projected to grow by 8.8% to more than $730 billion, or 34% of all IT spending. The rate of growth in emerging markets is twice that of developed countries, IDC says.

Mobile and emerging markets go together like peaches and cream. We saw this years ago with mobile voice technology. Emerging markets skipped over the slow, capital-intensive wireline voice networks and went straight to wireless. We’re seeing the same thing now with wireless data, smart phones, and tablets. There’s no need for a developing country to buy mid-tower PCs at this stage of the game.

For those in the tech industry, the implications are clear:

  • Application development should seriously consider a “mobile first” strategy, targeting tablets and smart phones right out of the gate. Even if you convince yourself that they won’t be the primary devices used by your main body of users, they are increasingly important in the computing landscape.
  • If you’re building an application targeting SMB, you’ll want to factor emerging markets into your strategy. It’s a lot easier to grab market share when the market is growing, and most of the growth is going to be in emerging markets. That said, most of that growth will be with smaller companies, not mega-large enterprises, so you’ll need to understand your primary user base. Obviously, if you’re based in Europe or America, you’ll need to do research to understand what else is going to be required in those emerging markets (localized language support, for instance?).

IDC also identifies other high growth spots, including:

  • Tablets: up 42% in 2013, with mini-tablets making up 60% of the volume
  • PaaS
  • Big Data


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