Coming up in 2012

What will this year bring for the IT industry?

Tags: Intel CorporationNokia CorporationResearch In MotionUltrabook
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Coming up in 2012 Can RIM make it through 2012? Will Ultrabooks save the PC hardware vendors? What is cloud computing?
By  Mark Sutton Published  January 26, 2012

We are almost a month into 2012, but as its traditional at the start of the year to try and foresee the path that lies ahead, here's my (belated) predictions for the fate of the IT industry in the Middle East and beyond for the next twelve months.

Cloud confusion

We are still deep in the hype cycle of cloud computing, especially in the Middle East, and any movement beyond that and into a more realistic environment with cloud a proven part of the IT mix, is going to mean a lot of pain and blindly feeling the way.

Outside of the region, there might be deployments of cloud and X-as-a-Service, particularly private cloud, that are delivering on the much promised value, but that doesn't mean that its going to work here. For cloud to take in the Middle East, there are so many issues to overcome. For the IT manager, there's the question of who owns IT, and who owns the data? Where does the data reside - will the CEO go for a service that sees company data Are IT managers willing to relinquish control? Is the IT department being effectively outsourced to save money, without thinking about security or data portability? What service providers have proven, stable offerings that meet all the needs of the business, and are they in this region yet? Do they have data centres close enough to me? Do they have localized terms of services and contracts? Can they meet SLAs? Can service providers even offer reasonable SLAs, given the high cost of bandwidth, and the still frequently unreliable connectivity offered by telcos/ISPs?

There might be some multinational or big government owned companies that can make a realistic attempt at private cloud deployments at present, but for any one else, and for public cloud in particular, it's a murky path ahead.

The Ultrabooks Gamble

In the PC hardware space, the industry needs one thing, and that's to get people spending again. Apple's tablet device continue to eat up share from the traditional PC vendors, and with a few too many vendors trying tablet and failing, all hopes are now getting pinned on the Ultrabook segment.

This ‘new' form factor, high performance, low power consumption in a thin and light form factor, is intended to generate the same excitement as Apple's tablets, and to sell at a similar, if slightly reduced premium. Get the people that need a device with keyboard, want a ‘sexy' device, and give them the Ultrabook, and charge them considerably more than you could for a regular notebook, or even a ‘good enough' net book.

Nice idea, but as the world's economic woes continue, and with iPad 3 on its way for those who still have money to spend, the Ultrabook's might not be enough to reanimate the notebook sector. AMD's slightly cheaper take on the market, the Ultrathin could take the price point low enough for mass market appeal, but there are still a lot of vendors putting a lot of their efforts into the Ultrabook.

Last Chance Saloon for...

At this point, it's pretty hard to see that either RIM or Nokia have got the legs to last for twelve months on their own. Nokia's close alliance with Microsoft might carry it for a while, but it seems more like a millstone around its neck. The Lumia hasn't quite caught on, and its ‘value' handset business is under threat from cheaper Chinese companies.

RIM seems to have lost its luster completely. It's under new management, and its planning another stab at the tablet market with PlayBook 2, but the core BlackBerry business is suffering from competition and cancelled new models, so its hard to see how it can lift itself enough not to look like a patent acquisition target.

Number portability in the UAE?

It's been promised for years. The TRA and operators insist they are working on it. We might finally get it in 2012. But don't hold your breath.

2077 days ago
Printing Company Edited by ITP.net

I think they are still a force to reckno with and they'll be kicking a** soon enough. I mean Jobs is nolonger there, samsung are apple clones so they still have a lot to offer.

2106 days ago
Brown Simz

BlackBerry might be going through some media backlash but their products are stil doing very well outside of America and Some parts of Europe. I think they are still a force to reckno with and they'll be kicking a** soon enough. I mean Jobs is nolonger there, samsung are apple clones so they still have a lot to offer.

2124 days ago
Syam Pillai

Every year, IT industry comes up with more jargon. Grid computing, SOA etc. have come and gone! Two years back they got this cloud idea. It will go on for another couple of years and then, something else will come. Do you really see any grid computing around? How many companies have SOA or at least something similar?

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