Canadian Manufacturing

SWOT this: Top IT predictions for 2013

A rundown of future-state developments that you should plan for today

ORLANDO, Fla.—Information technology research and advisory company Gartner, Inc. has revealed its top predictions for IT organizations and IT users for 2013.

The Stamford, Conn.-based consultant’s predictions focus on economic risks, opportunities and innovations that underline the reduction of control that IT has over the forces that affect it.

“CIOs must still provide reliability, serviceability and availability of systems and services. Their priorities must span multiple areas. As the world of IT moves forward…it must coordinate activities in a much wider scope than it once controlled, and as a result, a loss of control echoes through several predictions we are making,” said Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and Gartner fellow.

Gartner’s top predictions for IT organizations include the following:

Through 2015, 90 per cent of enterprises will bypass broad-scale deployment of Windows 8.

Windows 8 is Microsoft’s attempt to bring the touch interface to its flagship product to counter gains by Apple. However, most enterprises and their trusted management vendors are not yet prepared for this change, and Gartner predicts that enterprises will want to wait for more stability before proceeding. The market will take time to mature, and most enterprises will sit on the sideline for now.

By Year-End 2014, three of the top five mobile handset vendors will be Chinese.

Mobile phone penetration in emerging markets has resulted in a changing of the guard in terms of the leading vendors. The openness of Android creates new markets which continue to consolidate around Android and iOS. The result is that the traditional mobile phone players are getting squeezed, being unable to compete with Apple and Samsung at the high end and struggling to differentiate from aggressive new vendors, most notably Huawei and ZTE, which are using the same Android platform for their models.

By 2015, big data demand will reach 4.4 million jobs globally, but only one-third of those jobs will be filled.

The demand for big data is growing, and enterprises will need to reassess their competencies and skills to respond to this opportunity. Jobs that are filled will result in real financial and competitive benefits for organizations. Note that enterprises need people with new skills—data management, analytics and business expertise and nontraditional skills necessary for extracting the value of big data, as well as artists and designers for data visualization.

By 2014, European Union legislation to protect jobs will reduce offshoring by 20 per cent through 2016.

With little expectation of a short-term recovery, Gartner expects to see EU directives that protect local jobs, resulting in a net reduction of offshoring by 20 per cent through 2016. This does not mean that organizations would abandon the use of global delivery models, but it would result in the rebalancing of where labor is located. Opportunities would be created for firms to invest further in lower-cost parts of Europe, or in areas within their domestic location, where costs may be lower.

By 2014, IT hiring in major Western markets will come predominantly from Asian-headquartered companies enjoying double-digit growth.

An increasing number of successful Asian companies—particularly from China and India—are enjoying double-digit growth rates and will substantially grow their geographic footprints, making significant investments in major Western markets through 2015. These organizations will be responsible for major hiring of IT professionals to support their growth at a time when Western companies will still be coping with the impact of the economic crisis.

By 2017, 40 per cent of enterprise contact information will have leaked into Facebook via employees’ increased use of mobile device collaboration applications.

While many organizations have been legitimately concerned about the physical coexistence of consumer and enterprise applications on devices that interact with IT infrastructure, there has been little discussion about the underlying technologies that permit transfer of information between legitimate enterprise-controlled applications and consumer applications. These interactions are difficult to track, and the technologies to control the transfer are more difficult to build, deploy and manage.

Employee-owned devices will be compromised by malware at more than double the rate of corporate-owned devices.

Corporate networks will become more like college and university networks, which were the original “bring your own device” (BYOD) environments. Because colleges and universities lack control over students’ devices, they focus on protecting their networks by enforcing policies that govern network access. Gartner believes that enterprises will adopt a similar approach and will block or restrict access for those devices that are not compliant with corporate policies. Enterprises that adopt BYOD initiatives should establish clear policies that outline which employee-owned devices will be allowed and which will be banned.

Through 2014, software spending resulting from the proliferation of smart operational technology will increase by 25 per cent.

Previously “dumb” operational devices or objects, like a vending machine, medical device, marine engine or parking meter, are now having software embedded in them, and sensors are being linked to the Internet to create and receive data streams. This machine-to-machine communication has the potential to trigger significant new software costs for four reasons: (1) because of the amount of software like light databases or operating systems embedded within large numbers of operational devices; (2) because of the traditional software vendors starting to charge license fees, in certain circumstances, if the devices even indirectly hit their applications; (3) because operational technology vendors are developing IT-like platforms and getting away from hardware sales and into annuity software sales; (4) because the people buying and paying for this may not even be in IT, are not experts in software procurement, and may make expensive mistakes signing license agreements with hidden, or not so hidden, costs and risks.

By 2015, 40 per cent of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations.

Seventy per cent of business transformation efforts fail due to lack of engagement. Gamification addresses engagement, transparency of work, and connecting employees’ actions to business outcomes. Companies apply feedback, measurement and incentives—the same techniques that game designers use to keep players interested—to achieve the needed engagement for the transformation of business operations. Diverse industry segments are already finding gamification effective, and Gartner predicts that the worldwide market will grow from $242 million in 2012 to $2.8 billion in 2016, with enterprise gamification eclipsing consumer gamification in 2013.

By 2016, wearable smart electronics in shoes, tattoos and accessories will emerge as a $10-billion industry.

The majority of revenue from wearable smart electronics over the next four years will come from athletic shoes and fitness tracking, communications devices for the ear, and automatic insulin delivery for diabetics. CIOs must evaluate how the data from wearable electronics can be used to improve worker productivity, asset tracking and workflow.

By 2014, market consolidation will displace up to 20 per cent of the top 100 IT services providers.

The convergence of cloud, big data, mobility and social media, along with continued global economic uncertainty, will accelerate the restructuring of the $1 trillion IT services market. By 2015, low-cost cloud services will cannibalize up to 15 per cent of top outsourcing players’ revenue, and more than 20 per cent of large IT outsourcers not investing enough in industrialization and value-added services will disappear through merger and acquisition. CIOs should reevaluate the providers and types of providers used for IT services, with particular interest in cloud-enabled providers supporting information, mobile and social strategies.

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