2011 Predictions

Arabian Computer News gathers some of the world’s top vendors and analysts together for their 2011 predictions.

Tags: Gartner IncorporationIDC Middle East and AfricaIntel CorporationOvumSymantec Corporation
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2011 Predictions
By  ACN Staff Writer Published  January 18, 2011

To ring in the New Year, Arabian Computer News gathered some of the world’s top vendors and analysts together and asked them to reveal what they think will shape the enterprise technology market in 2011. To find out what they think will happen, read on.

Storage and security will be the main focus for Symantec during this  year, with the vendor predicting that trends such as mobility and cloud computing will have a major impact on the way that CIOs manage their enterprise’s IT infrastructure.

The challenges that the instantanenous world of today will pose to CIOs, and the danger that it poses to IT infrastructures is predicted to be the biggest headache of 2011. Mobility and virtualisation, and the challenge in adapting to the new business processes they will enable and force upon enterprises are key areas of concern.

“Given today’s stagnant and declining IT budgets, it’s imperative that organisations achieve more value from their IT spending,” says Johnny Karam, regional director for the Middle East and North Africa. “By understanding the challenges, risks and threats, organisation can plan and implement strategic technology initiatives, such as virtualisation, mobile security, encryption, backup and recovery, archiving and cloud computing to protect and manage their information more efficently.”

Johnny Karam is regional director for Symantec in the Middle East and North Africa.

For Intel, 2011 is all about tablets and the consumerisation of IT According to Intel, a combination of the two will blur what it means to be a consumer or enterprise product.

“Tablet computing, in a multitude of form factors and operating systems, will inundate the market,” Intel said in its 2011 forecast. “Expect to also see hybrid tablet/netbook products as an Intel-based Dell prototype unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum or the new 11-inch Macbook Air that looks and feels like a combination of the best of netbooks with the best of tablets.”

It also believes that the consumerisation of IT will continue at a strong pace. “2011 will mark the point where we see a blurring of consumer devices and enterprise devices,” it continued. “We saw it in 2010 with iPhones and Droid phones brought inside the corporate firewall. Employees will want to use their personal solutions for work productivity and employers will want to augment the corporate environment with the devices to drive productivity. Virtualisation, anti-theft technology, remote management and security will contribute here.”

Taken from predictions given by senior Intel executives to US media.

Social networking and an increase in the consumption of media in the workplace will drive the need for CIOs to adapt their network infrastructures to cope, according to Blue Coat’s Nigel Hawthorn.

“More businesses will consider social networking a key business tool and will begin implementing policies to allow social networking communication,” says Hawthorn. However, he warns CIOs must be prepared to strictly control the aspects of social media employees are allow to use. “Control the use of social media games and other applications,” he recommends.

Another area that is likely to pose problems for CIOs is the increased use of video services in the enteprise, both for work, and for leisure. “High definition live and on-demand video will become more prevalent on the web, creating more sizable ‘video floods’ that can take over enterprise WAN links and Internet gateways.”

In addition, he warns that the use of tablets, smartphones and other portable devices will add pressure to corporate networks and their access points.

Nigel Hawthorn is vice president of marketing EMEA for Blue Coat Systems.

IDC belives 2011 will be the year a number of key trends come to fruition, especially as IT budgets recover following the recession.

“In 2011, we expect to see these transformative technologies make the critical transition from early adopter status to early mainstream adoption,” says Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC. “As a result, we’ll see the IT industry revolving more around the build-out and adoption of this next dominant platform, characterised by mobility, cloud-based application and service delivery, and value-generating overlays of social business and pervasive analytics. In addition to creating new markets and opportunities, this restructuring will overthrow nearly every assumption about who the industry’s leaders will be and how they establish and maintain leadership.”

According to IDC, the platform transition will be fueled by another solid year of recovery in IT spending. It forecasts worldwide IT spending will be $1.6 trillion in 2011, an increase of 5.7% over 2010, with hardware, software and service spending expected to lead the way.

Frank Gens is a senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC.

Gartner has warned that 2011 will see a number of disruptive trends becoming even more of a concern for CIOs. Occurances of cyberwarfare are expected to increase, both from nation-funded efforts to cyber-terrorism like that inflicted by groups like Anonymous and 4chan.

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