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  • For years, we've constantly referenced the phrase "consumerization of IT." That's because—with the emergence of the cloud, mobile devices and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies—many decisions about technology purchases have shifted from the IT organization to business departments and employees. However, tech organizations will have a greater say in IT acquisitions and deployments in 2015, according to a recently released forecast from Deloitte. The 14th edition of Deloitte's "Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions" indicates that innovations related to the Internet of things (IoT), drones and 3D printing will play a lead role in the changes, as technology and business leaders will work together to determine which technologies will have the biggest business impact. "We are entering an extraordinary period where consumer technologies are finding increased adoption in the enterprise space," says Eric Openshaw, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and the U.S. technology leader for Deloitte's technology, media and entertainment, and telecommunications industry practice in the Americas. "The amount of data we will see generated from connected devices will pave the way to measure interactions in a way not witnessed before, [and] will allow organizations to understand customer behaviors and purchase patterns in a whole new light." The following predictions are adapted from the report, including forecasts about nanosatellites and contact-free mobile payments, among other topics. Deloitte compiled its predictions based on hundreds of interviews with industry executives and commentators, as well as proprietary research programs involving tens of thousands of consumers and users worldwide.

  • The vast majority of organizations have already implemented DevOps or are planning to do so in the near future, according to a recent survey conducted by Vanson Bourne for CA Technologies. The accompanying report, "DevOps: The Worst-Kept Secret to Winning in the Application Economy," reveals that this software development method—which fuses the words development and operations—is credited with increasing collaboration among departments globally by 21 percent, while reducing the time spent fixing and maintaining applications by 18 percent. Other improvements include faster time to market, as well as greater customer adoption of a company's software and services. "The argument against DevOps is over," says Andi Mann, vice president, CA Technologies. "Global business and IT leaders understand that they need transformational strategies to meet increasing customer demand and win the competition." To take full advantage, however, IT departments will have to address concerns about security and compliance, while overcoming organizational complexities and staff resistance. A total of 1,425 global senior IT and business leaders took part in the research.

  • These days, business is all about anticipating and managing change. Unfortunately, seven out of 10 change initiatives fail, according to research. In many cases, companies fall short because their corporate culture is ill-equipped to deal with any significant change. In the recent book Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty (Perigee Trade/available now), author Scott Steinberg dispenses advice for individual employees and managers who seek to endure and succeed amid fast-shifting times. He also reveals a wide range of approaches that smart organizations employ to empower their workforce to thrive in a changing environment. These companies understand that nothing—whether good or bad—lasts forever. And they're constantly coaching and encouraging employee teams to make educated gambles, while challenging conventional wisdom. The following list of traits that smart companies have used to successfully deal with change is adapted from the book. Steinberg is CEO of TechSavvy Global, a management consulting and market research firm.

  • Technology leaders consider IT service management (ITSM), which aligns the delivery of IT services with the needs of the business, as a greater priority than cloud and virtualization initiatives, according to a recent survey from Cherwell Software. In fact, only mobility projects ranked higher. A clear majority of IT departments are feeling a sense of urgency in this area, as they're expected to complete pending ITSM implementations within a six-month timeframe. The goal for IT management is to establish better efficiency and computing performance within their organizations, while boosting network security. They also hope to dispel impressions that they're out of touch with business needs, which is apparently how a significant share of business professionals feel, according to the survey findings. "IT leaders clearly recognize that IT service management is a key lever to improve performance and enable the business," says Vance Brown, CEO of Cherwell Software. "But a relatively small percentage of organizations actually have the tools to implement a modern and flexible ITSM solution." More than 200 senior IT managers took part in the research.

  • The problem with the coming wave of retirements is not just the loss of technical expertise. It's also the loss of those employees' subject-matter knowledge.

  • Mobile, the cloud and cyber-security will continue to dominate tech headlines this year, but the following "critical tech innovations for 2015," adapted from a list compiled by the IEEE Computer Society, will recast these topics in a fresher, forward-focused light. They include wearable devices, 3D printing, what's called "augmented reality" and an anticipated redefinition of the Internet of things (IoT) and the Internet of everything (IoE). Combined, these technologies are expected to enable organizations to work faster and smarter, while driving down costs on products and services. "2015 should see real progress in these areas," says incoming IEEE Computer Society President Thomas Conte, who is also an electrical and computer science professor at Georgia Tech. "We are reaching an inflection point for 3D printing, which will revolutionize manufacturing, and the exponential growth in devices connected to the Internet makes interoperability and standards critical." The IEEE Computer Society is a leading global computing membership organization, which serves as an information and career-development source for professors, researchers, software engineers, IT professionals, employers and students.

  • Less than half of North American organizations will see technology budget increases in 2015, reflecting a decline from last year, according a recent survey and forecast from TEKsystems. The overall findings, however, are encouraging: Most IT leaders expect overall IT salaries to increase this year, especially for professionals overseeing security, programming/development, project management and other key technology areas. And few companies anticipate reducing their IT department's staff size. That means any budget declines will most likely result from more efficient and effective IT planning, as opposed to project eliminations and staffing cuts. "It's easy to jump to the conclusion that the reduction in expected budget increases signifies a need to cut back and eliminate important projects," says Jason Hayman, research manager for TEKsystems. "In reality, IT leaders are simply looking to be more realistic about what they can do with their resources and plan accordingly. Rather than viewing the decrease in the rate of growth of spending as a reason to eliminate projects, IT leaders can use that information to implement sound talent management strategies in areas that are truly benefiting the business, and they can allocate resources to solidify those objectives." More than 500 CIOs, IT directors, hiring managers and other technology leaders in the United States and Canada took part in the research.

  • Either the "shadow IT" component of the cloud has been overplayed, or IT departments have made a concerted effort to take the reins of their enterprise cloud strategy. That's one of the conclusions that can be drawn from Verizon's "State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2014", the second annual cloud report to come out of the telecommunications giant. Verizon drew data from a variety of sources, including a survey of 200 of its enterprise customers, research it commissioned on nearly 1,000 other companies, its own usage logs and several third-party research reports. The research shows that enterprises are taking a more sophisticated and formalized approach to cloud adoption, including establishing more IT oversight. "When it comes to enterprise IT and cloud computing, the discussion has decidedly shifted from 'if' to 'how' and 'what,'" says Siki Giunta, senior vice president of cloud services for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. "Increasingly, organizations are adopting a planned life cycle approach to the cloud, recognizing that each and every application has its own unique considerations and cloud migration path."

  • The coming year promises to introduce significant disruption and challenges for business and government. These key trends will reshape IT and the enterprise.