Ten Tech Trends That Will Change IT in 2013By Samuel Greengard Print
The new year promises to deliver significant opportunities, along with risks, for IT and business. Here are 10 technology trends you should be watching.
7. The post-PC era takes hold.
Mobility is no stranger to the enterprise. Over the last few years, mobile devices have profoundly changed the way workers interact with each other, as well as with business partners and customers. Now, as the use of these devices tilts into the majority, organizations must adapt even more.
"It's vital to deliver the full fidelity of services and offerings across mobile platforms," says David Reilly, managing director of Bank of America's Technology Infrastructure organization. Indeed, 2013 will be a year in which IT executives must focus on creating a consistent experience across devices and browsers.
It also means better tying together marketing, sales, support and other functions, and harnessing systems through improved analytics and big data. The end game is to make channels seamless and nearly invisible. "It's crucial to design IT systems around mobility and ensure that all services can be delivered through the mobile channel," says NCR's Rosner.
8. Consumerization rules.
By now, there's no IT executive alive who hasn't been forced to confront the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement and the consumerization of IT. Over the last few years, organizations have had no choice but to support smartphones, tablets and other employee devices.
What many IT executives have failed to notice is that consumerization is seeping into every aspect of IT, and is affecting everything from hardware infrastructure to how an enterprise designs employee- and customer-facing systems, tools and software.
"Consumerization is driving different behavior, as well as new thinking, within the enterprise IT arena," observes Accenture's Daugherty. This includes how organizations interact with employees and consumers, who are often more advanced on the technology curve and have higher expectations.
App stores may be the most common manifestation of this trend, but consumerization is also driving a more agile IT delivery framework that touches social media, cloud computing and mobile technologies.
9. Organizations get serious about cyber-security.
Cyber-threats have exploded over the last few years. The White House, major banks and others have come under attack from a motley crew of hackers, hactivists and thieves. Yet, despite all the turmoil, many organizations still haven't adopted stringent and necessary protections.
According to a recent Verizon Communications study, 79 percent of attacks were simply "targets of opportunity." Accenture's Daugherty says that organizations must adopt a more analytical approach to security and engage in a comprehensive assessment in order to understand their specific vulnerabilities. They also must use multiple layers of security and put a far greater emphasis on training and education.
Ernst & Young's Nichols says that organizations must examine security in a more holistic manner, including examining the cloud, partners and mobile systems. The good news, he says, is that tools are becoming more sophisticated, and the coming year may be as a turning point.
10. Analytics is for everyone.
The challenge for companies in the information age isn't collecting information; it's parsing all the data and assembling it into useful knowledge. But big data is only part of the story. Although analytics is already deeply etched into the psyche of most organizations, Nichols says that more powerful computers, more sophisticated algorithms and new sources of data—including mobile devices, geolocation data and social media—have ushered in a new era of analytics.
"We are quickly reaching a point of maturity where all the pieces are coming together to provide more sophisticated tools and new insights," Nichols says. He adds that this translates into everything from real-time and personalized promotions in marketing to a much greater use of predictive analytics for understanding when machines and other equipment require service or replacement.
Increasingly, analytics software is filtering into the line of business and allowing more agile and effective decision making. This trend will continue to accelerate in 2013. "We will see a different order of data analysis in order to make business decisions a lot quicker," Nichols says.
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