Experts Weigh in on 2014 IT Trends

Managing the Changing IT Landscape: Future of IT                          

2013 was another transformational year for IT. As I look back at IDC’s 2013 predictions for Competing on the Third Platform and Gartner’s Top 10 2013 Strategic Technology Trends, it’s interesting to compare the predictions to reality. 

Rapidly expanding cloud technologies, ever-present social connectivity, data analytics opportunities, and a range of cool new business devices have changed the IT solution landscape. It’s changed how we work and interact with customers, and in turn, it has transformed our potential for business productivity.

A few months ago I wrote a blog on the future of IT, and specifically, the role of cloud. Now that 2014 is officially here, I wanted to take a closer look at what’s coming with a new batch of insights from the experts. Not surprisingly, the common thread is simply more change. So let’s look forward.

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Forrester: Digital key to business success

Forbes recently featured the 2014-2016 technology predictions from Forrester, which are largely rooted in today’s landscape of continuous connectivity and endless apps. According to Forrester Analyst Brian Hopkins, the CIO must drive the nimbleness that will be demanded by employees and customers yet find a way to do so securely.

Here’s a quick look at my favorite Forrester’s predictions:

  1. Physical and digital worlds will converge and consumers will expect uniform service across each.
  2. Embracing digital technology will become the make-or-break point for business success.
  3. APIs will be the “digital glue” for services to become accessible from a range of environments.

Gartner: Organizations must manage mobile, Internet of Everything

Forbes also published Gartner’s Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2014. After exploring the 2013 predictions from the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013, I notice a lot of similarities:

  1. Mobility, devices and applications dominate. Companies must get a handle on mobile device management and “better define expectations for employee-owned hardware” as BYOD becomes more popular and more complex.
  2. Cloud becomes embedded as the preferred IT service model with a range of expanding options.
  3. Even more devices become connected and embedded, giving rise to extreme mobility and an explosion of data across the “Internet of Everything,” which builds off of the Internet of Things 

Here’s a quick side-by-side recap comparing Gartner’s Top Ten Strategic Technology Trend predictions for both 2013 and 2014:compare 2013 and 2014 top tech trends gartner.jpg

Implications for IT: Simplify and standardize

Like the last 2-3 years, this rapid rate of change will continue into the future driven by technology advancements in support of business innovation and competitive markets. A recent survey on revealed that CIOs believe these forces will transform their roles by 2020. Some quick insights:  85% will cast a wider net to enable multiple channels across the business; 80% will standardize software and simplified IT architectures to meet growing tech requirements, faster. 

Simplification and standardization does not mean contraction or doing less. On the contrary, IDC predicts spending will rise in 2014 by an estimated 5%. This is important in my opinion because one of the most critical focus areas above isn’t directly called out: Security.

As IT re-architects for scale, growth, and flexibility, the key to success lies in managing these new devices and managing the integration of existing and new cloud solutions. The catch is that all this must be done while securing sensitive corporate data that is critical to gaining insights that propel the organization forward.

Mobile productivity is the starting point

The benefits of mobility remain largely untapped for many enterprises. Embracing enterprise mobility and addressing the forces of consumerization are complex and potentially costly business initiatives. By taking advantage of industry best practices, key lessons and insights from Intel IT, and new technologies like HTML5, organizations can reduce risk and speed the implementation process.

The Intel Strategy Series on IT consumerization provides two paths to help you build your plan at your own pace. 

What strategic topics will your IT organization be addressing in 2014?

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