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Cloud, Mobile Come Up Big in IBM Survey of 2,000 IT Pros

Developers who continue to focus on desktop computing may be in for a rude awakening.


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The writing is not only on the wall, it's on the millions of mobile devices and smartphones being sold each month. A new survey from IBM (NYSE: IBM) confirms two unmistakable trends: that computing is going more mobile and interest in cloud services is ramping up in a big way.

The 2010 IBM Tech Trends Survey was conducted online and covered responses from 2,000 IT developers and specialists from 87 countries. Over half (55 percent) said they think mobile software application development will eclipse development on all other traditional computing platforms by 2015.

[login] The findings are in line with a recent analysis by research firm Gartner, which forecast big spending on mobile development over the next several years. Gartner said it expects over $6.2 billion to be spent on mobile applications in 2010, project it to grow almost fivefold to $29.4 billion in 2013.



The new survey, conducted by IBM developerWorks in August and September, also found that a vast majority of respondents think cloud computing will make major strides over the next five years. Specifically, 91 percent said they think cloud computing will pass traditional, on-premises computing as the primary way organizations access IT services over the next five years.

The survey also offered some revealing statistics relating to IT careers. For example, mobile and cloud computing were ranked the top two hottest IT career opportunities for next year, with social media, business analytics and "industry-specific technologies" rounding out the list.

Telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, and energy and utilities were listed by survey respondents as the top four industries offering the best opportunity to expand their careers.

There seemed to be broad agreement (90 percent) among the IT professionals that it's important to have vertical, industry-specific skills for their jobs, but 63 percent admitted they lack the industry knowledge to remain competitive.

"These survey results clearly demonstrate that IT professionals see a combination of disruptive technologies and industry-specific skills as key to driving near-term business growth," Jim Corgel, general manager of IBM's Independent Software Vendors and Developer Relations unit, said in a statement.

developerWorks for iPhone

Separately, IBM had news for mobile developers. Addressing what it sees as a growing demand for mobile developer resources, IBM announced a version of its developerWorks mobile application for the iPhone.

developerWorks, IBM's free developer resource community, now covers a variety of mobile platform areas including the iPhone, iPad, HTML5 and Android.



   

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals..

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