Video, mobile apps spur data growth in 2011: Analysts

IT skills requirements set to change as company rethink the data centre

An “explosion” of video services and mobile computing applications are set to maximise demand on data centres in 2011, according to analyst firm Frost and Sullivan.

"[Video is] being used to communicate with customers, they’re being used by enterprises to communicate with staff, being used to deliver training courses, corporate messages, a wide range of applications and of course, there’s been an explosion in online advertising as well using video," Frost and Sullivan managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Mark Dougan, said.

"Perhaps about 40 per cent of IP traffic globally now is video-based and this online video community of over a billion users, perhaps one in seven or eight of the global population consumes online video. It’s been driven by the revolution of consumer devices, social media and the revolution of the web.

"It’s going to continue to place pressure on bandwidth which places pressure on data centres."

Dougan claimed a number of trends have the potential to significantly increase demand for data and bandwidth over the coming year, but video and the mobile applications often used to access them were high on the list.

“The wider range of applications on these mobile computing platforms such as Apple and Android is causing huge increases in data consumption and bandwidth requirements,” Dougan said.

A trend toward smarter cities, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, is likely to push the proliferation of information and the need for storage, he claimed.

“It’s also creating a requirement within cities for a lot more thought to be put into where data centres are located, where is the power they can access, and where the most sustainable location is, so the move towards smart cities is having significant implications for data centre design and data centre location,” he said.

Companies will increasingly adopt virtualisation and cloud computing to handle bandwidth and storage requirements throughout the next 12 month, according to Dougan, prompting organisations to “rearchitect” data centres and, inherently, IT skills requirements.

“Some of the job categories that we think are going to shape the manpower requirements for the future, include areas like infrastructure support, sales and marketing, project management and IT security,” he said.

Key skill requirements including, programming, virtualisation technologies, vendor specific skills and IT security management will also become high priorities.

“The other trend we’re seeing in terms of the actual market participants or vendors in the ICT industry, is a convergence between companies that previously operated in distinct and separate segments of the industry like energy and infrastructure… so a convergence of technology is also leading to a convergence of competition and companies increasingly converging into the centre of the ICT arena.”

Social media also made the analyst firm's list of trends for the next year, which it pegged as a growing platform and a catalyst for change in collaboration and communication in the enterprise.

“We’re seeing enterprises now increasingly using social media as a way of communicating with their customers, their staff and we expect to see this continue both internally and externally,” Dougan said. “There are privacy concerns but in general IT managers are not able really to block social media within organisations, and if they do, they soon find it counterproductive.”

Tags data growthFrost and SullivanData Centre

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