IDC: Three emerging technologies to go mainstream in 2011
January 24, 2011, 7:10am PST | Length: 00:05:48
Analyst firm IDC predicts three disruptive technologies will move beyond the early-adopter phase and into the mainstream in 2011. ZDNet's Sumi Das sits down with IDC Chief Analyst Frank Gens to discuss his picks and their impact on business and consumers.
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>> For 2011, analyst firm IDC is predicting that disruptive technologies such as web-connected TVs, mobile devices, and the cloud will move beyond the early adopter phase and into the mainstream. Here to talk about these disruptive technologies and what it means is Frank Gens. He's a chief analyst with IDC. Frank, thanks so much for being with us.
>> Great to be here, Sunni. Thanks.
>> So I read through your report, and you have ten predictions for 2011. And we wanted to focus on three in particular that sparked our interest -- first of all, mobile. You write in your report, "the mobility explosion will continue with huge device factors and millions -- yes, millions -- of mobile apps." So this is not too dissimilar from a prediction you made last year, right?
>> Yes, I'd say the big difference between last year and this year is as we go into 2011, the number of devices that are mobile devices, so we're talking about smart phones --
>> -- and mobile tablets like the iPad, the number of those devices is going to finally -- after ten years of predicting it -- laughter will finally see more of those ship than PCs.
>> It was bound to come true eventually.
>> Exactly. So we'll see the end of the PC-centric era, if you will. Finally end it and we'll never look back as the number of mobile devices is just growing so fast. But the point you bring up about apps is more important because we will see 1.3 million applications available for the iPhone and the Android --
>> -- phones. Million, and just to put a point of comparison, the number of PC apps is measured in tens of thousands.
>> So tens of thousands for the PC, now millions for mobile devices. So that really tells you where all the innovation and energy is around devices; it's around mobile devices.
>> And companies are paying attention to that striking difference.
>> Absolutely. I think all you have to do is open up your paper any day and take a look at the ads. Almost every single global 2000 type of company either is going to or already has announced their iPhone, their Android, their iPad app, because this is becoming a fundamental way to reach their customers and their prospects. You know there are 2 billion people connected to the internet now, and over half of them connect through mobile devices.
>> You can't ignore that percentage of the population.
>> You do so at your peril.
>> Right. Second, you say in your report that the IT and media industries will aggressively position for consumers demanding, "I want my web TV with web-connected TVs." Of course, when I hear this, I think of the web TV device that came out in the '90s.
>> Yeah, a product a little bit before its time. Before, you know, cheap broadband and content, you know, most importantly. But now, if you take a look at 2011, we're predicting that the devices -- so think about PCs -- over, about half of TVs that are 40 inches or larger will have network connections built into them. And then you add that to all of the, you know, Google TV, Apple TV, Roku and the other devices and the VCRs that now have -- or DVD players, I should say -- that have network connections. The devices are just absolutely network-ready. More importantly though is just we're seeing so much content, these really content media and entertainment clouds developing out there.
>> Which is what was missing before.
>> Yeah, that was missing.
>> I think people were maybe hesitant to get the web-enabled TVs when they didn't really get
>> Where you going to go?
>> -- the content that went with it.
>> Exactly. So now the content owners are starting to realize, the only, you know, this is going to be a vital way to get our content in front of customers' eyes, and in fact it's becoming so important we think that Microsoft is going to be shopping to buy its own media and entertainment cloud. And you know, Hulu's a good example of a company it could be looking at in order to compete with Apple and Google.
>> To get in the game.
>> Otherwise it'll be irrelevant.
>> Finally, the cloud. You've written in the report that "the public and private cloud adoption will surge as two cloud power position battles enter high gear, and cloud computing as a buzz word gets ready to fade." So tell us about this battle that's taking place.
>> Well, probably the biggest battle is now that people are figuring out how to connect to the cloud, the question is what are you going to do in the cloud. And from the enterprise standpoint, enterprise applications, more and more of them are being developed for cloud. Actually, we're predicting in 2011 that 80 percent of all new software applications are going to be available through the cloud. And by 2014 over a third of all software spending will be on software that's delivered through the cloud. So there's no question that's the future of solutions in the IT marketplace. And so in 2011 you're going to see companies like Microsoft with Azure, the platform as a service, Salesforce.com with Force.com, Oracle and IBM will jump in, certainly Google, VM Ware and others are going to battle to create the largest, if you will, iTunes store for enterprise apps. And the stakes are high, because the company that succeeds in winning that battle will have the kind of market power that only Microsoft has now. And they'll have that for the next 20 or 30 years.
>> So how is it that cloud computing will fade then?
>> Well, that's a bit of a, sort of a trick if you will. It's just really the buzz word that will fade away, because as cloud becomes more and more the core way that companies offer solutions and of course enterprises start buying new solutions, we won't think about it as something cool or new or different or radical. It's going to just be the way that things are done, you know, so we won't put a label on it.
>> It'll just be the way IT works.
>> The same way we don't put airmail stickers on our letters anymore.
>> Good point. laughter
>> Frank, thanks so much for sharing your predictions with us. We'll watch as they unfold throughout the year.
>> My pleasure, Sunni. Thanks.
>> I've been speaking with Frank Gens, chief analyst of IDC.
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