Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2014, IT hiring in major western markets will come predominantly from Asian-headquartered companies enjoying double-digit growth.
"An increasing number of successful Asian companies - particularly from China and India - are enjoying double-digit growth rates and will substantially grow their geographic footprints, making investments in major western markets through 2015. Consequently, these organizations will be responsible for major hiring of IT professionals to support their growth at a time when western companies will still be coping with the impact of the economic crisis," Peter Sondergaard, Gartner senior vice president and global head of research said.
By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created to support big data. Of these, 960,000 will be in the Asia Pacific region.
Every big data-related role in Asia Pacific will create employment for three people outside of IT, so a total of 4 million jobs in Asia Pacific. However, only one third of the IT role will be filled due to lack of skills in big data.
Governments and organizations will need to focus on education and skills development to remain competitive.
Sondergaard said the IT industry is entering a 'nexus of forces', which includes a confluence and integration of cloud, social collaboration, mobile and information.
"This is a time of accelerating change, where your current IT architecture will be rendered obsolete," Sondergaard said. "You must lead through this change, selectively destroy low impact systems, and aggressively change your IT cost structure. This is the next age of computing." This next age includes cloud computing, mobile, social networks and big data.
The cloud is the carrier for the three other Forces: mobile is personal cloud, social media is only possible via the cloud, and big data is the killer app for the cloud. Cloud will be the permanent fixture, the foundation.
"Cloud is not merely about cost-cutting, the end game is not just cheap on-demand services. In fact, 90 per cent of these services are still subscription based, not pay-as-you-go," Sondergaard said, in a Gartner release.
In 2016, more than 1.6 billion smart mobile devices will be purchased globally. Two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone, and 40 per cent of the workforce will be mobile. The challenge for IT leaders is determining what to do with this new channel to their customers and employees.
"Mobile is about computing at the right time, in the moment. It is the point of entry for all applications, delivering personalized, contextual experiences," Sondergaard said. "It means: marketing gets more time with the customer; employees become more productive; and process flows get dramatically cut."
In less than two years, iPads will be more common in business than Blackberries. Sondergaard said some CIOs are now placing orders for tens of thousands of iPads at a time. Productivity is the driver. Two years from now, 20 per cent of sales organizations will use tablets as the primary mobile platform for their field sales force. As a result, by 2018, 70 per cent of mobile workers will use a tablet or a hybrid device that has tablet-like characteristics.
Gartner forecasts that in 2016, half of all non-PC devices will be purchased by employees. By the end of the decade, half of all devices in business will be purchased by employees.
Gartner predicts that in three years, at least 10 organizations will each spend more than $1 billion on social media.
"Social computing is moving from being just on the outside of the organization to being at the core of business operations," Sondergaard said. "It is changing the fundamentals of management: how you establish a sense of purpose and motivate people to act. Social computing will move organizations from hierarchical structures and defined teams to communities that can cross any organizational boundary."
By tapping a continual stream of information from internal and external sources, businesses today have an endless array of new opportunities for: transforming decision-making; discovering new insights; optimizing the business; and innovating their industries.
Big data creates a new layer in the economy which is all about information, turning information, or data, into revenue. This will accelerate growth in the global economy and create jobs.
"Big data is about looking ahead, beyond what everybody else sees," Sondergaard said.
"You need to understand how to deal with hybrid data, meaning the combination of structured and unstructured data, and how you shine a light on 'dark data.' Dark data is the data being collected, but going unused despite its value. Leading organizations of the future will be distinguished by the quality of their predictive algorithms. This is the CIO challenge, and opportunity."