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Friday, October 8, 2010

IBM: Want a Job? Ditch the Desktop

If you're one of the many millions of Americans pining for your old desk job, IBM has some harsh advice: get over it. The desktop is done. The future belongs to ultamobile devices and the cloud.

Of course, this is nothing new, right? We've been watching notebooks eat into desktop PC market share for well over a decade. At mid-year, CNNmoney.com ran this IDC chart showing skyrocketing smartphone sales while desktops will stay flat until the end of time, or at least 2014.

Now we have IBM releasing survey data declaring that "more than half of all IT professionals – 55 percent – expect mobile software application development for devices such as iPhone and Android, and even tablet PCs like iPad and PlayBook, will surpass application development on all other traditional computing platforms by 2015."

Naturally, developers follow the market. If people are dropping desktops and signing in with smartphones, then that's where developers will put their time, effort, and money. However, the more interesting part of this survey news is this:

Additional IBM Tech Trends Survey findings include:

  • 91 percent anticipate cloud computing will overtake on-premise computing as the primary way organizations acquire IT over the next five years
  • Mobile and cloud computing are followed by social media, business analytics and industry-specific technologies as the hottest IT career opportunities beginning in 2011
  • 90 percent believe it is important to possess vertical industry-specific skills for their jobs, yet 63 percent admit they are lacking the industry knowledge needed to remain competitive
So imagine that you want a new job. If your resume showcases the fact that you know Microsoft Office and can answer phones, is it any wonder that no one is hiring you? Employers want you to use phones, not answer them. They want you savvy on next-gen cloud apps, not last-gen programs sitting on your hard drive, and those cloud apps better include a wide range of social media tools.

Now, consider the source. IBM released these survey results because "IBM today announced additional resources, through IBM developerWorks, to help professionals build skills to prepare for the next generation of IT and application development opportunities." So there's an agenda. There's always an agenda. But that doesn't mean that the message is invalid for anyone looking to find a role in the next decade.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, this also means that those who lack the spare $40+ each month for an unlimited data plan on their phone will find themselves increasingly out of touch with the job market. Again, we see the gap between haves and have nots widening.