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IBM: Cloud computing and mobile development moving on up

Smart phones are no longer gadgets, they are extensions of IT, according to IBM, which recently surveyed developerWorks visitors. Mobile and cloud computing are both projected to become the most in-demand platforms for IT delivery and application development, according to the company.

Mobile and cloud computing, related topics in the view of some, are both projected to become the most in-demand platforms for IT delivery and application development in the coming years, according to IBM. That company's developerWorks Web site recently released a Tech Trends Survey, with results based on the responses of 2,000 IT development professionals, to back up the claim.

The survey showed that a startling 91 percent of respondents think cloud computing will surpass on-premise computing as organizations' primary way to acquire IT over the next five years. Mike Riegel, Vice President of IBM and ISV Developer Relations, explained why.

''[Cloud computing] is becoming mainstream, and is an area companies are investing in for new ways to drive revenue,'' said Reigel. He pointed to the remarkable acceptance of mobile CRM in the hands of SalesForce.com as a forerunner of the emerging trend.

Riegel said the key to the trend is the integration between smart phone and cloud computing platforms. He noted that DeveloperWorks has created a mobile application that, together with the Lotus Connections network, provides developers with networking and skill building capabilities to improve mobile application development.

The application, written in Objective-C, supports the growing mobile application market, and works on major mobile platforms such as the iPhone, HTML5 and Android. It provides many of the same features as social networking sites, but in a mobile format for user convenience.

According to the survey, over half of the developers surveyed, 55 percent, said they expect mobile application development to surpass the application development on traditional computing platforms within the next five years, which Riegel said was not necessarily a surprise.

''Today's smart phone – as smart as it is – is not just a gadget anymore,'' said Riegel. "It's what IT has become, because every platform now has capabilities for assistance management and help desk.

''It's really become an extension of the IT department and of user capabilities, whether it's mobile CRM or mobile capabilities for other business line type functions,'' he said.

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