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2012 Tech Trends: Mobile, Social, Cloud and Business Analytics

IBM recently released the 2012 edition of their annual Tech Trends Report. The 2012 Tech Trends Report is based on a survey of more than 1,200 professionals who make technology decisions for their organizations (22 percent IT managers, 53 percent IT practitioners and 25 percent business professionals). The respondents come from 16 different industries and 13 countries, spanning both mature and growth markets. The full report is here.

So what are the trends? As the title of this article says, it’s all about:

  • Mobile
  • Social
  • Cloud
  • Business Analytics

2012 IBM Tech TrendsBased on my experience at Perficient this year, I agree whole heartedly. In my job as a Director in our company wide Portal and Social practice, I work with clients on strategy every day. I typically go speak with both IT professionals and business leaders to understand their needs and desires when it comes to a future platform decision or implementation.

In almost every interview I conduct, Mobile and Social needs are at the top of the list. And yet, these are still confusing subjects for everyone. For mobile, do you invest in native applications and then how do you build them efficiently? Do you go with a mobile browser version of your site? How about a hybrid version? Is a tablet a mobile device or a smaller desktop device?

On the social side, are we talking social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc? Do we need to have a private social experience due to industry specific regulations? Should we have our own social platform for our employees? Which one is best? How do you define the best social platform? Can we replace our intranet with a social platform?

What I found interesting in IBM’s report is the breakout of responses in the categories of Pacesetters, Followers, and Dabblers. It is clear from the data that Pacesetters are taking on these systems, trying to implement them, and acquiring or building skills in these technologies. Dabblers, as the name suggests are lagging behind in these technologies. The following quote sums up the differences they see with the Pacesetters:

Interestingly, we found a significantly higher proportion of Pacesetters in growth markets ( 35 percent compared to 15 percent in mature markets). Pacesetting organizations in these rapidly growing economies are not only adopting emerging technologies faster than their competitors, they also place greater weight on their strategic importance.

We don’t see these trends slowing down anytime soon. In the IBM data, we see that only 34% of the respondents have significant or limited deployments of social business capabilities. We think the other 66% will be moving in that direction sooner rather than later.

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