2011 Predictions

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

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2011 Predictions
By  ACN Staff Writer Published  January 18, 2011

In addition, it predicts that the way budgets will be allocated will move towards a savings/reward infrastructure where “new revenue generated each year by IT will determine the annual compensation of most new Global 2000 CIOs.

“With costs still under pressure, growth opportunities limited and the tolerance to bear risk low, IT faces increased levels of scrutiny from stakeholders both internal and external,” says Darryl Plummer, managing vice president and Gartner fellow. “As organisations plan for the years ahead, our predictions focus on the impact this scrutiny will have on outcomes, operations, users and reporting. All parties expect greater transparency, and meeting this demand will require that IT become more tightly coupled to the levers of business control.”

Darryl Plummer is a managing vice president and fellow at Gartner.

The fuss around cloud computing is only expected to increase during 2011, as it moves from being an early adopter technology towards being embraced by the mainstream.
Because of that, research agency Ovum is prediciting datacentre construction and management will become major topics of discussion for CIOs going into 2011.

“There appears to be a strong level of interest in datacentre transformation,” says Kevin White, research and consulting director for Ovum Mena. According to White, a push toward virtualising the hardware datacentres and within the enterprise will mean there is an equal impact on the software side of enterprises. “In a series of discussion groups facilitated by Ovum, we found roughly 40% of CIOs have an active virtualisation programme mapped out for 2011. However, he warns there is still doubts over the extent to which it will reach the end-user. “Efforts are mainly centered at the storage and server level, but the potential of desktop virtualisation and datacentre hosted virtual application streaming is also under consideration for some,” he adds.

Kevin White is a research and consultuing director at Ovum.

Few would argue that 2011 is going to be an interesting year. There are going to be a number of challenges, but equally opportunities, that will face CIOs, both in the private and public sectors across the Middle East.

In my own opinion, there will be things that will be easier for CIOs this year, but equally, there will be a number of new trends that will appear that will cause them no end of headaches and frustration.

If I had to pick the three biggest trends that will impact you next year, then they are cloud computing and the consumerisation of technology, mobility and perhaps most importantly for the Middle East, a young demographic that is markedly different in both culture and work methods to the current generation of CIOs and business leaders. This last point, I feel, is incredibly important to address because it ties in very tightly with those other two major trends.

The new generation will not accept the old ways of working. Try telling an 18-year- old that they can’t work in the way with computers that they have found to be most efficent, and not only will they likely ignore you, but they will potentially open up your enterprise to a number of threats that don’t have to exist.

Besides, the whole reason why they will want to work that way is because having grown up with computers, they know that is the best way. It may be hard to accept that these young employees may know more than you, but the fact is, you most likely didn’t grow up around computers, and certainly not in the way that they have.

Secondly, it ties in with the increasing focus on enabling mobility. A number of CIOs are already ahead of the game in this area, and several vendors are are also geared up to help enterprises catch up. The most important thing about mobilisation isn’t that it is there to help your employees to work all of the time – it’s there to help them be more efficent. That means that CIOs are going to have to work closely, not only with the employees themselves, but also the members of the board that deal with business processes, because it is perhaps one of the biggest changes to the way enterprises and their employees will interact with the IT infrastructure of your firm. We’ve already seen a glimpse of the future with Apple’s iPad.

Last, but not least, is cloud computing and the consumerisation of technology. The latter ties in with the  point I made about the iPad just a moment ago. It’s crucial to remember that Apple’s wonder device isn’t designed as an enterprise product. The former is possibly one of the biggest changes the industry has ever seen, and tied in with the other two trends, it has the potential to transform the industry into something totally unrecognisable.

However, I won’t bore you with the details of cloud computing. What I will say however, is that cloud’s biggest stumbling block is – and will remain for sometime – the confusion that surrounds the technology and how to implement it. Those enterprises that crack that particular wallnut, and tie it in with mobility and embrace the knowledge and enthusiasm the younger generation has for technology will find themselves at the forefront of not only the Middle East’s technology sector, but the whole world.

Ben Furfie, Editor, Arabian Computer News.

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