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IBM sees business opportunities for solution providers in cloud computing, business analytics and mobile computing and is launching several initiatives to help partners capitalize on them.
The IT vendor also sees major shifts occurring in customer buying patterns, said Bill Donohue, IBM Business Partners vice president, speaking at the XChange Solution Provider 2013 conference in Orlando, Fla.
"Clearly, the business is moving from back office and IT and CIOs to the front office, to line-of-business and to CMOs [chief marketing officers]," Donohue said. He cited a Gartner prediction that by 2017 CMOs will be spending more on IT than CIOs.
"We clearly need to transform our businesses here. That's where the real growth opportunity is going to be," he said.
While the global economy remains on shaky ground, Donohue was upbeat about the IT industry's prospects for 2013. "Despite the economic woes we've had in North America, [IT sales in] North America should be a $720 billion opportunity this year and should be growing, roughly, at around 2 percent," he said.
IBM is forecasting that the market for business analytics systems, including hardware, software and services, will reach $85 billion in North America this year and is growing at an annual rate of 6 percent. Sales of IT for cloud computing will be $27 billion in North America this year, IBM predicts, with an annual growth rate of 21 percent (and reaching $150 billion globally by 2015).
And the worldwide market for mobile computing technologies, including devices and applications, will reach $36 billion by 2015 -- with North America accounting for about half of that, Donohue said.
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