Thursday, October 25, 2012
Gartner, Inc. highlightedthe top 10 technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2013. Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.
A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. These technologies impact the organization's long-term plans, programs and initiatives.
The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2013 include:
Mobile Device Battles
Gartner predicts that by 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide and that by 2015 over 80 percent of the handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones. However, only 20 percent of those handsets are likely to be Windows phones. By 2015 media tablet shipments will reach around 50 percent of laptop shipments and Windows 8 will likely be in third place behind Google’s Android and Apple iOS operating systems. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s big bet and Windows 8 platform styles should be evaluated to get a better idea of how they might perform in real-world environments as well as how users will respond. Consumerization will mean enterprises won't be able to force users to give up their iPads or prevent the use of Windows 8 to the extent consumers adopt consumer targeted Windows 8 devices. Enterprises will need to support a greater variety of form factors reducing the ability to standardize PC and tablet hardware. The implications for IT is that the era of PC dominance with Windows as the single platform will be replaced with a post-PC era where Windows is just one of a variety of environments IT will need to support.
Mobile Applications and HTML5
The market for tools to create consumer and enterprise facing apps is complex with well over 100 potential tools vendors. Currently, Gartner separates mobile development tools into several categories. For the next few years, no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several. Six mobile architectures – native, special, hybrid, HTML 5, Message and No Client will remain popular. However, there will be a long term shift away from native apps to Web apps as HTML5 becomes more capable. Nevertheless, native apps won't disappear, and will always offer the best user experiences and most sophisticated features. Developers will also need to develop new design skills to deliver touch-optimized mobile applications that operate across a range of devices in a coordinated fashion.
The personal cloud will gradually replace the PC as the location where individuals keep their personal content, access their services and personal preferences and center their digital lives. It will be the glue that connects the web of devices they choose to use during different aspects of their daily lives. The personal cloud will entail the unique collection of services, Web destinations and connectivity that will become the home of their computing and communication activities. Users will see it as a portable, always-available place where they go for all their digital needs. In this world no one platform, form factor, technology or vendor will dominate and managed diversity and mobile device management will be an imperative. The personal cloud shifts the focus from the client device to cloud-based services delivered across devices.
Enterprise App Stores
Enterprises face a complex app store future as some vendors will limit their stores to specific devices and types of apps forcing the enterprise to deal with multiple stores, multiple payment processes and multiple sets of licensing terms. By 2014, Gartner believes that many organizations will deliver mobile applications to workers through private application stores. With enterprise app stores the role of IT shifts from that of a centralized planner to a market manager providing governance and brokerage services to users and potentially an ecosystem to support apptrepreneurs.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that describes how the Internet will expand as physical items such as consumer devices and physical assets are connected to the Internet. Key elements of the IoT which are being embedded in a variety of mobile devices include embedded sensors, image recognition technologies and NFC payment. As a result, mobile no longer refers only to use of cellular handsets or tablets. Cellular technology is being embedded in many new types of devices including pharmaceutical containers and automobiles. Smartphones and other intelligent devices don't just use the cellular network, they communicate via NFC, Bluetooth, LE and Wi-Fi to a wide range of devices and peripherals, such as wristwatch displays, healthcare sensors, smart posters, and home entertainment systems. The IoT will enable a wide range of new applications and services while raising many new challenges.
Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing
As staffs have been asked to do more with less, IT departments must play multiple roles in coordinating IT-related activities, and cloud computing is now pushing that change to another level. A recently conducted Gartner IT services survey revealed that the internal cloud services brokerage (CSB) role is emerging as IT organizations realize that they have a responsibility to help improve the provisioning and consumption of inherently distributed, heterogeneous and often complex cloud services for their internal users and external business partners. The internal CSB role represents a means for the IT organization to retain and build influence inside its organization and to become a value center in the face of challenging new requirements relative to increasing adoption of cloud as an approach to IT consumption.
Strategic Big Data
Big Data is moving from a focus on individual projects to an influence on enterprises’ strategic information architecture. Dealing with data volume, variety, velocity and complexity is forcing changes to many traditional approaches. This realization is leading organizations to abandon the concept of a single enterprise data warehouse containing all information needed for decisions. Instead they are moving towards multiple systems, including content management, data warehouses, data marts and specialized file systems tied together with data services and metadata, which will become the "logical" enterprise data warehouse.
Analytics is increasingly delivered to users at the point of action and in context. With the improvement of performance and costs, IT leaders can afford to perform analytics and simulation for every action taken in the business. The mobile client linked to cloud-based analytic engines and big data repositories potentially enables use of optimization and simulation everywhere and every time. This new step provides simulation, prediction, optimization and other analytics, to empower even more decision flexibility at the time and place of every business process action.
In Memory Computing
In memory computing (IMC) can also provide transformational opportunities. The execution of certain-types of hours-long batch processes can be squeezed into minutes or even seconds allowing these processes to be provided in the form of real-time or near real-time services that can be delivered to internal or external users in the form of cloud services. Millions of events can be scanned in a matter of a few tens of millisecond to detect correlations and patterns pointing at emerging opportunities and threats "as things happen." The possibility of concurrently running transactional and analytical applications against the same dataset opens unexplored possibilities for business innovation. Numerous vendors will deliver in-memory-based solutions over the next two years driving this approach into mainstream use.
The market is undergoing a shift to more integrated systems and ecosystems and away from loosely coupled heterogeneous approaches. Driving this trend is the user desire for lower cost, simplicity, and more assured security. Driving the trend for vendors the ability to have more control of the solution stack and obtain greater margin in the sale as well as offer a complete solution stack in a controlled environment, but without the need to provide any actual hardware. The trend is manifested in three levels. Appliances combine hardware and software and software and services are packaged to address and infrastructure or application workload. Cloud-based marketplaces and brokerages facilitate purchase, consumption and/or use of capabilities from multiple vendors and may provide a foundation for ISV development and application runtime. In the mobile world, vendors including Apple, Google and Microsoft drive varying degrees of control across and end-to-end ecosystem extending the client through the apps.
More information on stategic terchnologies and CRM can be found at www.CRMindustry.com
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Big data will drive $28 billion of worldwide IT spending in 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. In 2013, big data is forecast to drive $34 billion of IT spending. Most of the current spending is used in adapting traditional solutions to the big data demands -- machine data, social data, widely varied data, unpredictable velocity, and so on -- and only $4.3 billion in software sales will be driven directly by demands for new big data functionality in 2012.
Big data currently has the most significant impact in social network analysis and content analytics with 45 percent of new spending each year. In traditional IT supplier markets, application infrastructure and middleware is most affected (10 percent of new spending each year is influenced by big data in some way) when compared with storage software, database management system, data integration/quality, business intelligence or supply chain management (SCM).
Big data opportunities emerged when several advances in different IT categories aligned in a short period at the end of the last decade, creating a dramatic increase in computing technology capacity. This new capacity, coupled with latent demands for analysis of "dark data," social networks data and operational technology (or machine data), created an environment highly conducive to rapid innovation.Starting near the end of 2015, Gartner expects leading organizations to begin to use their big data experience in an almost embedded form in their architectures and practices. Beginning in 2018, big data solutions will be offering increasingly less of a distinct advantage over traditional solutions that have incorporated new features and functions to support greater agility when addressing volume, variety and velocity. However, the skills, practices and tools currently viewed as big data solutions will persist as leading organizations will have incorporated the design principles and acquired the skills necessary to address big data concerns as routine flexibility.
More information on Big Data and CRM can be found at www.CRMIndustry.com
Thursday, October 11, 2012
At a time when global unemployment rates are hitting record highs, results of research released by Antenna Software finds that the mobility sector may be a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy labor market. The responses from HR managers at 600 enterprises surveyed for the project found that 74 percent of US and UK businesses currently have mobile positions to fill, with almost 1 in 3 companies (29 percent) bringing on a 'mobile strategist,' indicating that as businesses think through the secular impact of mobility, a growing number are assigning ownership for development and execution of business-wide mobile strategies to a specific individual.
Antenna's research also revealed that the demand for workers with mobile skill-sets will accelerate in the next 12 months, with more than half of all companies surveyed (51 percent) recently creating mobile-specific roles. In particular 20 percent of companies are planning to create 1-2 new mobile related roles in the next year, with some US and UK businesses, roughly 5 percent, planning to create as many as 5-10 new mobile roles in the same timeframe.
Among those companies with mobile positions to fill, 25 percent have found it difficult to find the right workers, and of those companies the vast majority (93 percent) have indicated it is not due to a lack of applicants, but rather the absence of someone with the right qualities for the job. In fact, the volume of applicants was actually cited as the key reason that 40 percent of organizations have been easily filling new mobile roles. These findings point to the importance of clearly defining what skill sets and qualities are most crucial for these new roles as they are created.
Against a backdrop of growing demand for mobile talent is the emergence of a new mobile role – the mobile strategist. Antenna's research found that nearly 30 percent of companies surveyed currently have a mobile strategist, chief mobile officer, or head of mobile that is devoted specifically to mobile strategy and execution across departments.
Antenna's research also found that the mobile skill-sets most in-demand with UK and US businesses at the present time are those relating to mobile development and mobile management. More specifically, 20 percent of businesses are currently recruiting mobile app developers and mobile content creators, while 23 percent are looking to hire those with mobile device management (MDM) expertise. The uptick in mobile management skills is aligned with the ongoing BYOD trend that many companies are grappling with today as more new devices are released into the market.
More information on mobile and CRM can be found at www.CRMindustry.com
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Forty-four percent of U.S. executives aim to tackle current IT challenges through leveraging cloud solutions, and they are planning to invest more in cloud computing in the future. That is the finding of an IDC survey commissioned by T-Systems. Corporations expect cloud computing to deliver lower IT costs (26 percent) and to enable them to replace legacy systems (21 percent) and adopt new applications more flexibly (14 percent).
Cloud computing is seen as most likely to deliver solutions for Customer Relationship Management (31 percent), productivity tools like email, collaboration or Office packages (28 percent), online stores, and Enterprise Relationship Management (26 percent each).
Corporations continue to have reservations about security, but they are no longer the decisive criterion against cloud. The concept of security now extends to issues such as how cloud computing will impact compliance requirements or data availability. That is prompting corporations to consider the right cloud type and cloud service needed. Enterprises see an opportunity in the private cloud for providers to fulfill their security requirements and agree on service level agreements. 40 percent of U.S. respondents have implemented a private cloud strategy while only 13 percent are relying on public cloud and 16 percent on hybrid cloud solutions.
In the course of adopting cloud computing, enterprises are increasingly considering new service providers, and they are also considering providers whose services they have not previously used. In ERP more than half are considering providers with whom they have had no previous experience.
More information on IT and Cloud Computing can be found at www.CRMindustry.com