At a conference today in Florida, Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT) forecast that information technology (IT) spending in 2012 would rise 3.8% in 2013, from $3.6 trillion to $3.7 trillion. But the really big news is in big data. According to the company's head of global research:
By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created to support big data, generating 1.9 million IT jobs in the United States. In addition, every big data-related role in the U.S. will create employment for three people outside of IT, so over the next four years a total of 6 million jobs in the U.S. will be generated by the information economy.
Big data refers to the virtual flood of data that is both available to companies and yet goes unused by them because the tools to parse the data are still being developed. Gartner noted:
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.
Another seismic shift predicted by Gartner is that by the end of the decade, half of all devices in business will be purchased by employees, not companies. By 2016, half of all non-PC devices (smartphones and tablets primarily) will be purchased by employees. These are huge shifts toward mobility, cloud computing, and, yes, big data.