Security, cloud services and sustainability to be three most important trends in enterprise IT in 2011, according to Ovum.
The independent technology analyst has named its top ten trends for the coming year, which also include mobility, data management and data centre transformation.
Business analytics, collaboration, IT financial management and context-aware computing also make the list and author Mark Blowers believes the trends provide both opportunities and challenges.
“These are the key trends that will define the IT landscape for CIOs in 2011. If CIOs do not have a strategy for how they intend to take advantage of the opportunities they provide, and deal with the challenges they bring, then they should form one as an urgent priority.”
Security continues to be high on the IT agenda as the number of threats to businesses increases rapidly. “New technologies such as mobility, social media and cloud computing present new opportunities, but also vulnerabilities,” believes Blowers. “No amount of investment in technology alone can prevent attacks from criminal gangs and cyber espionage. In 2011, CIOs should adopt an approach that brings together technology, policy and people. The wider picture for corporate protection must also include risk, compliance and regulatory issues.”
Data management will be a key area due to the sheer volumes now passing through enterprises. “The management of data will come to a head for CIOs in 2011, who will realise that it is an issue that can no longer be ignored,” predicts Blowers. “The issue of hardware capacity and the drain on resources will see data management make it on to the investment agenda for IT departments in 2011. We believe they need to address both master data management and storage management to deal with the issue effectively.”
“Business analytics will remain an important tool for organisations that want to differentiate themselves from the competition in 2011,” says Blowers. “The technologies’ ability to improve decision-making, identify new business opportunities, maximise cost savings and detect inefficiencies is driving its importance for organisations.”
In IT management, the mobility challenge in 2011 will be to embrace the new technology while developing a strategy that maintains a balance between user preference and productivity and corporate security and compliance. “As well as challenges, there is a big opportunity for enterprises to revolutionise business processes and customer interaction using new mobile apps,” says Blowers.
Data centre transformation
The role of the data centre is witnessing a dramatic shift as the cloud computing era heralds a new dawn in the delivery of IT services in 2011. “The impact of this shift will be to transform current organisational thinking about the value of building and operating large complex data centres,” predicts Blowers.
Cloud computing will continue to grow steadily in 2011. Ovum believes that it is no longer a question of whether or not enterprises will use cloud computing, they already are. However, it is still early days for both providers and CIOs, who will grapple to take advantage in 2011.
To cater for changes in work practices, an integrated approach to collaboration is needed which includes social networking and video conferencing. “In 2011, enterprises will move from a traditional hierarchy based on command and control, to looser structures using collaboration and teamwork,” says Blowers.
New opportunities will continue to emerge in 2011 which allow organisations to work in a more environmentally-friendly way. “IT management with the use of new technologies will take more of a leading role in helping the organisation to meet sustainability expectations and save money,” says Blowers.
IT financial management
The CIO should talk the language of business and put in place better IT financial management in 2011. “Changes are needed to improve the IT department’s relevance to an organisation and prove the value of investment to the business. Better financial management can help with this.”
In 2011, CIOs should be looking to instrumentation, metering and wireless technologies to play a significant role in providing the context which can lead to automated business processes and increased productivity. “It is also important to fully understand the impact increased contextual data will have on the IT environment and applications, as well as back-end infrastructure.”