Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – If you thought 2010 was a big year for “cloud computing” and deals to acquire firms in that space with buyers such as IBM (NYSE: IBM), HP (NYSE: HPQ), Dell (Nasdaq: Dell) and Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), watch out for 2011.

So reports Bloomberg news in a report Monday that says a “race to harness surging demand for cloud computing and security services” is well underway.

Quoting a number of finance executives, Bloomberg says tech companies made $100 billion in deals last year with more expected this year. As busy as the IT sector was with cloud and security acquisition, Bloomberg notes that tech sector wheeling-and-dealing lagged other M&A activity, which soared 26 percent, with a growth rate of 12 percent.

IBM alone made 16 deals last year.

IT spending is projected to increase this year, and the growth in data generation continues at a record pace, Bloomberg noted.

“In the last few years more data has been created and stored than in all of human history,” said Eric Mandl, global head of software banking at UBS AG, told Bloomberg. The firm worked with IBM on a $1.7 billion deal for data-warehousing company Netezza Corp. as well as Dell’s $960 million buy of Compellent in the storage space.

“Ultimately the companies that offer technologies to solve problems associated with the data explosion will be the winners,” Mandl said.

Read the full report here.

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