Gartner’s top ten strategic technology trends for 2013 focus on cloud as the foundation for the other forces: mobile is a personal cloud, social media is only possible via cloud and big data is the killer app for the cloud. Cloud computing is enabling organizations to tap new approaches to designing applications with more resilience and new capabilities. IDC likewise sees 70 percent of CIOs adopting a “cloud first” strategy in 2016 for all new IT purchases. Forrester expects Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to see steady growth and to have the greatest impact on enterprise apps, desktop apps and security, but more limited impact on database storage and business intelligence. Forrester also sees companies looking at SaaS as a complement rather than a replacement for existing apps. Industry-specific solutions to leverage cloud, mobile and big data will account for $65 billion of enterprise spending according to IDC.
Evaluating the disruptive power of mobile in consumer and enterprise markets, IDC predicts one third of all new development in 2013 will address a mobile form factor. From a mobile development perspective, Gartner anticipates a significant market for several different tools to create both native and HTML5 apps; IDC agrees in the promise of HTML5 for enhanced security, but sees most applications being developed for native environments in the short term. Meanwhile Yankee Group (now part of The 451 Group) expects over 50 percent of companies to deploy mobile applications using SaaS as opposed to on-premises software. On the hardware side, Gartner expects this to be the year that smartphones overtake PCs as the most common Web access device and believes that IT will no longer be able to support Windows as the single enterprise platform as employees increasingly tap iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. Notably, Yankee Group expects this to be the first year of Android’s declining U.S. market share in the face of increasing competition.
On the social front, IDC notes that enterprise social networks will move beyond the pilot stage, as many companies realize the collaborative benefits from implementing internal social networks. Gartner makes the bold prediction that in three years, 10 organizations will each spend more than $1 billion on social media.
More broadly, IDC sees 5.7 percent growth in the worldwide IT industry. IT will increasingly shift its focus from IT productivity to business productivity according to IDC – driving business innovation, strategy and improved service instead of just “keeping the lights on.” Gartner expects companies to sharpen “The Digital Edge,” by creating new physical-digital combinations that create new sources of customer value and company revenue.
These top trends are transforming budget decisions and will drive almost 90 percent of technology budgets to fall outside of IT by the end of the decade, according to Gartner. Along these lines, IDC is predicting more companies will adopt infrastructure-as-a-service driving a zero capital infrastructure financial model to better manage expenses across product lines.
Net-net: Prepare for More Change
What might the impact be of this “Nexus of Forces” as Gartner calls them? Further transformation of user experience, additional process and cost efficiencies and greater innovation according to Gartner. IDC expects these to result in more intense global competition and an accelerated pace of innovation and business change.
Grace Angulo is a vice president at Edelman Silicon Valley.