2013: The Corporate (and IT) strategic trends

Over on LinkedIn, in a conversation regarding “Gartner: Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends For 2013” I made the call that the list is basically the top ten growth items from 2012.  So, the challenge was given to me “So out of interest what would you add to the list for 2013?”

I could not answer that in the allotted character limitation for LinkedIn comment boxes … mind you I honestly do not think it is best answered as Top ten technologies as much as it is best answered by top trends … so, here is a blog post to allow me to respond (in no particular order).

  • The “new” Desktop:
    I think that the answer is not the technologies but the outcome. There will be a massive move towards a new application/service delivery model – based on the “continuity across devices” model. This can be delivered via a range of options – BYOD, Private Cloud Virtual Desktops, Cloud delivered SaaS, etc – but that is not the important part – it’s the need for access by employees that is – (first and foremost) Secure – but then is available anywhere, available at anytime and available on any device
  • Enterprise 4.0: from profit to purpose.
    There is an understanding that the enterprise will need to embrace a few things this year. The societal values of transparency, Social Consciousness and Enlightened Self Interest are all becoming part of the expectation of core requirements for the new socially empowered  customer base. How will this be seen? Mostly, it will be demanded  through a particular medium – Enterprise social networking.  All of this requires a review of the processes. We are already seeing the beginning of a global workforce where the majority of workers are not only familiar and comfortable with social networking, but have a growing expectation that these tools will be used in a business context.
  • A return to Security:
    Basically, if you build it, they will hack it. With the rise of the distributed collaborative enterprise – it is no longer “if” a security incident will occur – but “when”. The question is how will enterprises minimise the exposure and the impact? How will they manage it? Expect (and thus prepare) for more large-scale attacks, increased cyber crime attempts and even cyber based corporate espionage.
  • From IT to IS:
    Enterprises no longer want or need Tool shops and IT departments are seen as just that. Enterprises are wanting their business projects to be completed – and that it is simply being enabled by those IT tools. The enterprise does not care about the whirs of hard drives or the blinking of LEDs – and neither should the departments. I anticipate that the discussion around “outsourcing” and even “offshoring” will be replaced with redistributed core capabilities and opportunities based labour. In short, in providing information services rather than technology tools.
  • Not the internet of “things” but a Pervasive (invasive?) computing paradigm:
    Consumers are becoming used to the ability to digitally engage and interact with their environment via a digital means. This is not about anywhere computing, QR codes or virtual overlays. It is about situation based applications. It is about apps that find users. It is about a digitally augmented reality. Whilst smartphones have started us down this path – expect google glasses to kick of a new expectation on how users interact with the world. All of that translates into a new way for corporations to interact with their users and customers.

So, what about the technologies? Sure –

  • Cloud services – Private, Public and Hybrid – IaaS, SaaS, PaaS – will all have their parts to play. That’s a given.
  • BYOD? That is going to be a philosophy argument. Just like the one about telecommuting. The reality will be that the arguments are likely to be based on a rationalisation of the pros and cons of security risks vs enterprise requirements
  • Big Data? Wrong question. Big Data is about making better business decisions. But the tech is only half the story. business models, legacy systems and data quality all need to change to meet those requirements. It is going to be a given – but as enterprises realise the costs and efforts involved, they will seek smaller, quick wins and focus on the solution that is further afield in 14/15. Expect designed for purpose stacks (e.g. exadata) to become prominent in the enablement of this arena.
  • The first quantum computing devices have been announced recently. Whilst I think that this will likely not be a disruptive technology until 14 or 15 – I do expect that we will begin to feel the “withdrawing tide” that signals that tsunami this year.

So, that’s my quick and in a nutshell, off the cuff view.

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