Technology 2013: What Companies Need to Know

Technology market research group Gartner, Inc. has revealed its top predictions for IT organizations and IT users for 2013 and beyond.
 
Gartner’s top predictions focus on economic risks, opportunities and innovations that will impel companies to move to the next generation of business-driven solutions. Selected from across Gartner’s research areas as the most compelling and critical predictions, they address the trends and topics that underline the reduction of control that IT has over the forces that affect it.
 
“As the world of IT moves forward, it is finding that 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,” says Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and Gartner fellow.
 
Gartner’s top predictions include the following:
 
Through 2015, 90% 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 in rapid-growth markets. Microsoft had to make this change to modernize its offering, and its approach is to push companies to this new interface as quickly as possible.
 
However, most enterprises and their trusted management vendors are not yet prepared for this change. Gartner predicts that enterprises will want to wait for more stability before proceeding.
 
While Microsoft as a technology company can make these changes at a more advanced pace, the preponderance of the customer base cannot move so quickly. The market will take time to mature, and most enterprises will sit on the sidelines 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 for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that previously did not have the necessary software expertise and engineering capabilities.
 
The market continues to consolidate around Android and iOS, with other ecosystems struggling to gain traction. With most vendors committed to Android, it has become difficult to differentiate among them.
 
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.
 
Chinese vendors have the opportunity to leverage their strong position in the domestic Chinese market for entry-level smartphones and expand to other regions, because this is not just an emerging-market phenomenon. 
 
By 2015, 4.4 million jobs globally will be needed to cope with big data demand, but only one third 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.
 
An important aspect of the challenge in filling these jobs lies in the fact that enterprises need people with new skills – data management, analytics and business expertise and non-traditional skills necessary for extracting the value of big data, as well as artists and designers for data visualization.
 
By 2014, European Union directives will drive legislation to protect jobs
An upward trend in unemployment has continued in the European Union during the ongoing financial crisis. With little expectation of a short-term recovery, Gartner expects to see the European Union introducing directives before the end of 2014 to protect local jobs.
 
The impact of this protectionist legislation would be a net reduction of offshoring by 20% 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 with such models.
 
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, Asian companies will account for much of IT hiring in major Western markets  
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.
 
Consequently, 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.
 
Exacerbating the disparity between the hiring practices of Western and Asian organizations will be the increased use of industrialized IT solutions, which will further reduce the IT staffing needs of Western firms.
 
By 2017, 40%of enterprise contact information will have leaked into Facebook
Facebook is one of the top five applications installed on smartphones and tablets. Many organizations are being pressured to permit interlinking with Facebook and similar products, because those products provide a high degree of leverage for new contacts.
 
While many companies are concerned about the physical co-existence 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.
  
Through 2014, employee-owned devices will be compromised by malware
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. In the BYOD era, security professionals will need to diligently monitor vulnerability announcements and security incidents involving mobile devices and respond appropriately with policy updates.
 
Through 2014, software spending resulting from the proliferation of smart operational technology will increase by 25%
‘Dumb’ operational devices or objects like vending machines and parking meters are now having software embedded in them. Sensors are also 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 because of four reasons:
 
  • more software like light databases or operating systems being embedded within large numbers of operational devices

 

  • traditional software vendors starting to charge license fees, in certain circumstances, if the devices even indirectly hit their applications

 

  • operational technology vendors developing IT-like platforms and getting away from hardware sales and into annuity software sales

 

  • people buying and paying for all 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% of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification for business transformation
Seventy percent 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 US$242 million in 2012 to US$2.8 billion in 2016. Enterprise gamification will eclipse consumer gamification in 2013.
 
By 2016, wearable smart electronics will emerge as a US$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.
 
Wearable smart electronics, such as fitness trackers, often come with data analysis applications or services that create useful insights for the wearer. Applications and services will create new value for consumers, especially when combined with personal preferences, location, bio-sensing and social information.
 
Companies must evaluate how the data from wearable electronics can be used to improve worker productivity, asset tracking and workflow. Wearable electronics will also provide more detailed information to retailers for targeting advertisements and promotions.
 
By 2014, consolidation will displace up to 20% of the top 100 IT services providers
A Nexus of Forces, including cloud, big data, mobility and social media, along with continued global economic uncertainty, will accelerate the restructuring of the nearly US$1 trillion IT services market.
 
By 2015, low-cost cloud services will cannibalize up to 15% of the revenue of the top outsourcing players. More than 20% of large IT outsourcers not investing enough in industrialization and value-added services will disappear through mergers and acquisitions.
 
This will limit and endanger the typical offshore/nearshore approach run by dedicated IT services providers and create low-cost options onshore or facilitate a globalized approach to staffing.
 

Companies should re-evaluate the providers and types of providers used for IT services, with particular interest in cloud-enabled providers supporting information, mobile and social strategies. 

 

About the Author

Networks Asia is a sister publication of CFO Innovation

 

Photo Credit: AHMAD FAIZAL YAHYA/Shutterstock.com

 

Suggested Articles

Some of you might have already been aware of the news that Questex—with the aim to focus on event business—will shut down permanently all media brands in Asia…

Some advice for transitioning into an advisory role

Global risks are intensifying but the collective will to tackle them appears to be lacking. Check out this report for areas of concern