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Business Analytics Identified as Key Near-Term Technology Growth Area

2011 IBM Tech Trends Report focuses on Analytics, Cloud, Mobile and Social Businesses

IBM developerWorks surveyed over 4,000 IT professionals from 93 countries and 25 industries about their views on critical and evolving technology trends with a focus on business analytics, mobile computing, cloud computing, and social business.

The ability to gather information is far outpacing organizations' ability to use it effectively, something that the companies call "Hitting the Data wall" - when the amount of data needed to make optimal decisions and carry on operations overwhelms a firm's technology and infrastructure. Not surprisingly with businesses struggling everyday to crunch rapidly growing amounts of data, business analytics stood out as the most-adopted technology among those surveyed. 42% of respondents called it as an "in demand" area for software development and as having the highest adoption tendency (90%) when compared with other technology areas. The participants further predicted that this IT trend will have the highest impact in the education, healthcare, aerospace/defense, computer software and life sciences industries.

The amount of data is exploding and the tools to process it need to keep pace.  Many financial and Internet firms deal with data on the Petabyte scale.   Data at this scale does not fit well in traditional relational database models (RDBM).  Financial and Internet companies who seek to analyze data (Transactional & Analytical) that flows through its network can no longer depend on traditional SQL solutions and end up turning to open source distributed database management systems like Hadoop, Cassandra and Pig.  The IBM report also highlights this trend as 87% of respondents in the survey cited open source platforms such as Apache Hadoop and Linux as playing a crucial role in the future of this application development.

When it comes to mobile computing android has emerged as the top platform for mobile application development with increased interest in the areas of enterprise apps, industry specific apps, extending mobile to core applications, commerce and social applications. Cloud continues to play a prominent role driven by the need to cut costs and increase flexibility and scalability. The IT professionals who were questioned seem to think that developing new applications will take center stage in cloud adoption nudging past current top favorites: virtualization and storage.

Social business is also gaining momentum as more organizations plan to become actively social to benefit from increased efficiency and collaboration. The three top social business capabilities that companies are utilizing today are file sharing, blogs and forums. Many of them would like to delve deeper through internal and customer facing deployment and use of mass market social networks

Interestingly the IBM tech report also unearthed a strong inter-dependence between these key technologies .Cloud is increasingly used to host and deliver mobile apps and so as the mobile usage spreads, cloud should follow. Fifty-one percent of survey respondents cited the adoption of cloud technologies as part of their mobile strategy. Data analytics can also be offered on Software as a service model on the cloud while social platforms are rapidly gaining portability.

The IBM 2011 Tech Trends Report can be found at https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/techtrends/entry/home?lang=en

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