HorizonWatching: Top IT Technology Trends For 2011

I’ve developed my list of top Information Technology Trends for 2011 to add to the trend lists that are being published at this time of year.  I came up with 11 trends this year on the list, rather than the customary ten. 

Slide2 The list below should not be a surprise to you all that much as most of the trends have been on my radar (and probably yours) for a number of years already.  Some of them are more mature in their adoption and development than others.  However, those that made my list are the trends that I feel will have the most impact on IT departments in 2011. 

For each of the trends, I’ve provided a short discussion of trend and what developments I expect in 2011.  I also provide you with links to sites where you can explore the trend topic in more detail.  All the text makes for a long post, but I like sharing more information rather than less.   With that in mind, here are the top IT technologies trends to watch in 2011.

 

1.  Private Clouds

The cloud computing ‘buzz’ has been going on now for 3 years.  Public clouds have been a major part of the discussion and experimentation.  However, more companies have begun adopting approaches to private clouds in parts of their businesses.  Many CIOs and business leaders are concerned with having their data residing outside their firewall.   In 2011 I expect to see mid and large-sized businesses to increase their experimentation and implementation of private clouds as the promise of the cloud delivery model is one that is just too good to pass up.  There’s also a growing interest in private ‘community clouds’ hosted for a group of organizations who trust each other.  The largest hurdles to cloud computing continue to be a lack of cloud standards and concerns regarding security, availability and performance.

For more information

 

2. Virtualization

Virtualized infrastructures are becoming popular not only for cost savings, but because they can enable quick changes to business models, operating structures and the way that business processes are enabled.  In addition, a highly virtualized infrastructure is a prerequisite for private clouds so CIOs will continue to focus on virtualization.    Over the last 3-4 years we’ve seen server virtualization really take off as a trend and now it is almost standard technology in the data center.  While security concerns remain a hurdle to deployment, we’ll continue to see a focus on virtualization across the entire infrastructure in 2011. 

For more information

 

3. Social Business

Social collaboration is changing the way business is being conducted.  Over the next 10-15 years, social computing capability will becomes part of every business function within the company.  Social capabilities will become embedded in every single website, computing device for every participant in every single business transaction.  All participants involved in a company’s business processes and transactions will have the ability to share content, comment on content, rate/vote on content, and collaborate in an open and sharing environment.  In addition, all this social activity will generate data that will be mined and analyzed in both batch and in real-time.  The insights generated will be a critical input into all business processes, including research, product development, marketing, sales, technical support, and even business processes like accounting, procurement, and legal.  Since social will eventually be embedded in every business process and transaction workflow, social computing capability will need to be a critical part of every business application.  As a result, I expect entire business application suites will be rewritten to make use of social collaboration features.

For more information

 

4. Mobile Computing 

5 years ago, mobile meant something entirely different than it does today, thanks to the introduction of the smartphone, the Iphone, Google’s introduction of Android, and just this past year, the iPad.   Mobile computing and the ecosystem that surrounds it is a major growth industry.  As smartphone adoption grows and the application infrastructure becomes more sophisticated, mobile will expand beyond messaging, and make mobile email, mobile websites and mobile applications viable channels in which to conduct business.  Enabling technologies will be new devices, faster networks, new location-aware technology, and improved mobile applications.  Some key mobile trends to watch in 2011 include Location Based Services, Mobile Apps, Mobile Gaming, Event-Based Mobile Marketing, and Augmented Reality.

  • Prediction that Smartphone Sales To Beat PC Sales By 2011 (see this)
  • Mobile Web usage more than doubling YoY (see this)

For more information

 

5. Storage Trends

The huge growth of videos, pictures, audio, social media and other unstructured data is taxing the storage systems of many data centers.   The cost of storage for most enterprises remains a high component of the overall cost of a datacenter, even though the cost of storage per gigabyte continues to drop.  In addition other trends are impacting storage, including Cloud computing, virtualization, energy costs, economics and performance.  In 2011, watch for increased adoption of storage technologies like data deduplication, flash, solid state disks and automating volume-level tiering.

For more information

 

6.  Advanced Business Analytics

While information overload was once a barrier to good decision making, today’s technology and analytics expertise make it a real benefit. The explosion of data that is taxing storage systems is also driving the requirement for advanced business analytics.  Business leaders are yearning for deeper knowledge and insights on all aspects of their business and they know that the information they need is available within all the data flowing through the company IT systems.  Advanced analytics solutions can help business leaders adopt a proactive versus reactive strategy, enabling them to predict future behaviors and events before they occur.   Insights generated can help business leaders optimize individual business decisions, processes and entire business models, as well as manage risk and fraud, with the goal of improving the development and delivery of products and services. In 2011 look for advancements in streaming technologies, mathematical algorithms and predictive modeling as applied to business analytic solutions. 

For more information

 

7. The Personalized Web

Thanks to the explosion of social media, how users are influenced, consume information, and make purchasing decisions has been altered forever.  Users are increasingly expecting company websites, products, and services to be tailored to their individual preferences, past experiences, and what they happen to be doing at this very moment.  This puts the demand on business and IT leaders to create a personalized and engaging experience for end-users across all channels, both online and offline.  In 2011, I expect business to focus on advanced solutions that can delivering a more personalized experience to end users.   These solutions will be designed to mine the customer’s profile, buying behavior, browsing behavior and other insights obtained through marketing analytics in order to deliver a more customized and personalized online experience.  Look for further improvements in technologies such as marketing analytics and predictive algorithms that can automatically deliver highly relevant, contextually aware, personalized content and recommendations to customers via both online and offline channels.

For more information

 

8. Video-enabled Business Processes

Video content continues to make its way into all business processes.  This trend will continue over the next 5-10 years.  It makes my list this year as it is crossing over from both a security tool and a marketing (e.g. YouTube) tool, into a tool that can be applied across business processes to improve the way businesses communicate, collaborate, and educate all stakeholders.  Visual communication can actively promote teamwork and accelerate problem-solving processes leading to better business decisions.  In 2011, I expect forward looking business leaders and business process reengineering consultants will begin to use video to transform key business processes in order to create competitive advantage, lower costs, and to reduce environmental impact, particularly by avoiding the need for travel.  IT departments need to start preparing now to be able to handle future video requirements.

For more information

 

9. Service Oriented Architecture

In 2011 (as in recent years), I expect continued focus on aligning information technology efforts with business objectives and SOA will be a big part of those discussions.  SOA has been around for years, so it is not a new concept at all.   What’s new is that 1) business processes are in need of reengineering as a result of the social, mobile, and video trends discussed above and 2) a service orientation is a prerequisite for private clouds.  This doesn't mean that a mature SOA must already exist before an enterprise can venture into the cloud, but rather that architecture strategies that involve cloud must have a service orientation.  A service orientation gives businesses the ability and flexibility to realign operations as business goals evolve from year to year.   This ability can mean a competitive edge in terms of time to market for products and services, responsiveness to customers, and customer satisfaction.  So in 2011, I expect to see increased interest in SOA policy governance tools, repositories, and business rules engines all driven by the need of businesses to become more agile and prepare themselves for private clouds.

For more information

 

10. Sustainability and IT

Government and Business leaders alike are looking across their operations, to the products and solutions they sell, to the way they manage supplier relationships in order to understand how to better protect Mother Earth. The sustainability trend is a big one and technology can play a big part in helping to eliminate wasted energy, wasted space, and wasted natural resources/materials.  New technologies are available that can help organizations become more energy efficient, implement new ways to source, manufacture and distribute goods and services in a more sustainable manner, and enable safe and renewable sources of energy. In 2011, I expect companies and governments to develop strategies to incorporate sustainability information technology solutions that include the capability to analyze data and synthesize information in a variety of forms required by different departments within an organization.

For more information

 

11.  Risk Management

Organizations are facing an ever evolving and increasingly sophisticated threat environment.  Adding to the complexity is the fact that organizations are installing new computing capabilities such as cloud computing, mobile computing, and social computing that are making applications  interconnected than ever before.  These new technologies are also introducing new risks that are compromising critical infrastructures, privacy and identity, requiring organizations to rethink how they deal with compliance, risk management and data protection. Business and IT leaders are realizing that they need to build security and risk management capability into the initial design of their infrastructure and their applications, rather than add them on as an afterthought.  In 2011, I expect organizations will increase their focus on employ technology solutions to help them manage risk and provide a more secure environment for business operations.

For more information:

 

So there you go, that is my list of the top IT related technology trends that I believe will have an impact on IT departments in 2011.  CIOs and their IT departments should be well aware of these trends and have plans to implement the enabling technologies that make up these trends.   I’m developing a slide deck version of this post and will be posting it to the HorizonWatching account at SlideShare http://www.slideshare.net/HorizonWatching  sometime in early January. 

Network World: 10 Start-ups to Watch in 2010

NetworkWorld NetworkWorld recently published its Outlook 2010 issue.  One of the articles included in that outlook featured a look at emerging companies in start-up mode.   The article 10 Start-ups to Watch in 2010 was written by Jon Brodkin.  Here is a summary of the ten companies mentioned in the article

  1. CloudSwitch:  Moves existing applications to public clouds, without having to rewrite them.  www.cloudswitch.com
  2. Dasient:  Has a new web security service designed to identify legitimate Web sites infected by malicious code.  www.dasient.com
  3. Eucalyptus Systems:  Offers open source software that aggregates infrastructure into private clouds and allows end-user customization and self-service provisioning.  www.eucalyptus.com
  4. HyTrust:  Offers a virtualization security tool that provides a centralized point of control. www.hytrust.com
  5. MeLLmo: Offers “Roambi”, which takes business intelligence data and converts it into interactive visualizations for the iPhone.  www.roambi.com
  6. MobileIron: Offers a Virtual Smartphone Platform that provides IT department visibility into mobile devices and their data.   www.mobileiron.com
  7. Vineyard Networks:  Offers NetCore On Demand, which is a SaaS network management tool.  www.vineyardnetworks.com
  8. Viridity Software:  Viridity helps reduce energy usage by mapping the connections between applications and specific IT equipment. www.viridity.com
  9. Wanova:  Offers virtual desktop software enabling better performance and offline desktop use for mobile and remote workers.   http://wanova.com
  10. Zetta: Provides a cloud storage service with enterprise-class features. http://www.zetta.net

As you can see, cloud, virtualization, and mobile are some common threads.

For more on these companies, check out the article 10 Start-ups to Watch in 2010  and the slideshow.

IDC: Top 10 Storage Trends for 2010

IDC IDC is well into its top 10 trends  and predictions season.   Last week they held their conference call on Storage trends for 2010.  On the conference call were leaders from the IDC Storage team 

This was a very useful conference call that helped me understand the key trends in storage.  As we all know, the volume of data being created globally is going through the roof.   Storage requirements are being stressed and that trend will continue for some time.  Enterprises need to have a solid storage strategy.  Those that are successful can build a competitive advantage via a dynamic information-centric environment based on intelligent analytics.

Here’s a summary of IDC’s Top Ten Storage Trends

  1. Decapitalization of IT:   Focus will be on reducing capital costs
  2. BU To Re-establish Independence From IT:  Expect solutions focus to drive increased use SaaS  
  3. Digitization Of Major Industries Will Lead To Enable Operational Effectiveness:  Look for specific vertical industry solutions from Storage Solution Providers
  4. Acceleration In The Adoption of Storage-efficient Technologies:  Including technologies like:  Deduplication, Thin Provisioning and Storage Tiering 
  5. VM Will Drive New Management And Optimization Of Data Access:  Focus on managing how and where associated data will be accessed.
  6. Focus On Datacenter Density Improvements:  IDC expects SAS form factor will be shipped as a primary disk interface.  Also expect increased shift towards the 2.5” HDD form factor. 
  7. Improved And Expanded Use Cases For SSD. Compliments the push for improved performance, storage utilization, and reduced power consumption.
  8. Personal Storage Will Look To SMB For New Opportunities:  IDC says personal storage vendors realize their is money to made in SMB.
  9. Consolidation of Protection, Recovery, and Retrieval:   In the midmarket, backup and archiving will come under a common management framework
  10. Storage Vendors Will Go-To-Market With Turnkey Packages: Expect combination of compute, network and storage packages.

For more information, check out IDC’s Worldwide Storage Predictions 2010: Capitalizing on Transformation

On Twitter, you can follow IDC’s storage team at:  https://twitter.com/idcstorage.  Follow all of IDC on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/IDC

Sydney Morning Herald: Top 10 business technology trends for 2010

Here’s a perspective of of top 10 business technology trends from ‘down under’.  I found this article written by Simon Sharwood at the online version of the  Sydney Morning Herald.  Here’s a quick summary.

  1. Cloud computing.  The article says to watch out for three types of cloud services 1) software-as-a-service, 2) infrastructure as a service, and 3) internal clouds.
  2. Four big Microsoft upgrades.  1) Office 2010, 2) SharePoint 2010, 3) Exchange 2010, 4) Windows 7
  3. Virtualization.  This trend continues to evolve at an impressive pace.
  4. Biometric authentication.  This technology is ready for wider deployment in 2010.
  5. Next-generation firewalls.  Firewalls can now take over some of the functions of other security appliances.
  6. Employee-owned IT.   Employees bringing their own computers to work.
  7. Loyalty schemes.  This trend going mainstream in 2010.
  8. Solid state disks.  These disks are smaller, faster, cooler and use less power than conventional disks.
  9. Smart grids.  Allows power companies to predict demand more precisely, reducing waste.
  10. Hybrid servers.  Trend towards all-in-ones that pack a server, storage and other goodies needed to run business applications into a single box

It’s an interesting trends list.  Not all will be on my top 10 list, but all are good trends we should understand.  Check out the full article “Top 10 business technology trends for 2010

CIOL: Top Trends in India for 2009

India is a big part of the future of the IT industry.  I think we all realize that.

I was looking for 2009 trends lists that were specific to India and came upon the CIOL website.  CIOL is short for Cybermedia India Online LImited.  The CIO website http://www.ciol.com focuses on the Information Technology industry within India.  It appears that CIOL has become a popular Internet destination for IT professionals, vendors, solution providers, CIOs and CEOs of Indian enterprises.

The website had a Special Report that provided 2009 outlooks on a number of IT segments.  In many cases, CIOL invited executives from Indian IT vendors to provide their own views of what the important trends will be in the India IT industry during 2009. 

Below you'll find that I've summarized the relevant trends posts on CIOL by by major IT trend category. 

CIO Challenges

Mobility

Security

Outsourcing

Enterprise Technologies

Networking Trends 

Storage Trends 

So those are a bunch of trends posts that CIOL published.  After reading them you can get a good feel for what is important in India during 2009.   If anyone reading this has other good sources of 2009 trends in India, please provide them in the comment section below.  Thanks!