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IBM Predicts Seismic Shift In IT Spending

Shift from infrastructure to analytics will fuel future IT spending.

LAS VEGAS Steve Mills, head of IBM Systems Business, told a group of attendees of IBMs Pulse 2011 that traditional spending on IT infrastructure will radically change over the next two decades, shifting instead to spending on business analytics.

In the past, companies have spent their money on creating infrastructures that would gather business-critical data, Mills said. But all that data is of no use to organizations until they are able to take the data and break it down into actionable information.

You can gather all the information you want, but until youre able to federate it into discrete packets, its of no use, Mills said. Thats why people are going to be shifting their money away from infrastructure, which they have a good handle on. Now its all about the analysis.

Mills said the analytical technology will lead the United States to update its infrastructure more easily without having to rip and replace what it already has in place. Communities can put sensors in the water and sewer systems to alert them to potential problems so they can be fixed before they become large-scale problems.

But for such analysis to work, organizations will need to build their analytic infrastructures with the same passion and focus that they built their hardware infrastcture.

Over the next two decades, we will see a significant shift in IT spending, Mills said. You will see two to three times the spending on analytic infrastructure. Its not that people wont continue to spend on hardware, but there will definitely be a shift.

Theres no reason not to invest in data analytics because the cost of actual physical computing is way down, Mills said.

The more data you can analyze, the more efficient and effective your operation can be, Mills said. People are seeing payback in six months. Its time to invest in upgrading your analytical capabilities. You dont want to be left behind.

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