In the run up to the holiday period, Logicalis CEO Ian Cook addresses some of the ICT trends for 2013. Consumers will be driving many ICT trends for 2013 and this will require investment by organisations to support a new way of working.
An IDC prediction for 2013 says: “The most important events in 2013 will cluster – as they did in 2012.” They might have added, “…as they always have.”
Earlier this year we were critical of the multifarious New Year predictions - for addressing ‘trends’ as mutually exclusive events; ‘BYOD will be big’, ‘Corporate Social Networking will be big’ and ‘Big Data will probably be big as well’.
The truth is, technology trends have always been interconnected and more often than not, interdependent – indeed, technology is so pervasive and so ubiquitous these days, it is hard to imagine a trend could ever ‘stand alone’. Can we really even entertain the possibility that rapidly growing sets of devices like tablets and smartphones, for instance, will not drive significant change in other areas of the technology ‘ecosystem’?
With questions like that in mind, our own predictions for 2012 were built on the idea that technology trends are clustered by default; ‘BYOD will be big and will facilitate Corporate Social Networking, which adds to Big Data – and, in turn, Big Data is useless without analysis’. Of course that is an over simplification of the relationships - they are rarely linear and involve external forces that can skew the story - but the central point stands.
ICT Trends for 2013
We think the ICT trends for 2013, and how are they related, are pretty similar to last year:
Google’s zeitgeist report for 2012 showed that tablet computer products represented 8 out of the 10 most used consumer technology search phrases.
Unsurprisingly the iPad 3 was the top searched for item and the iPad mini came in at number 3. The two remaining consumer technology phrases searched for were both smart phone brands. And yes you guessed correctly, the second most searched phrase in 2012 was… ‘Samsung Galaxy S3’ and the second most searched for smart phone… ‘Nokia Lumia 920’. Curiously - not an iPhone in sight.
The point is this: Your organisation may be unsure about how best to deploy BYOD, but your workforce is forging ahead.
Social networking in the workplace.
But why are these consumers all clambering to get their hands on the latest smart devices? There is a huge social element to the use of these devices - even when the activity is not in itself social, such as watching a film, reading an article or shopping for clothes, you are never more than a click away from being able to share your views about, or a link to, the object of your activity.
All the same, rolling out social media type tools in the workplace has not proven as smooth a transition as might have originally been thought. A lynchpin in the success of any new business tool is the ability of the user base to “get it”. Sure they understand their timeline on Facebook or IM, but that is social and they can get it wrong in their own time. At work there is an alternative – email - and weaning some members of a workforce off email and introducing them to document repositories and sharing a link, rather than attaching yet another document, can be no small task.
So deployment of social tools will continue but in no way obviates the need to get a sometimes reluctant or unenlightened workforce on board.
During this year’s US elections, President Obama’s analytics department was five times as large as that deployed in 2008. The campaign even had an official ‘chief scientist’ at its Chicago headquarters - Rayid Ghani had previously crunched huge data sets to, among other things, maximise the efficiency of supermarket sales promotions.
Although very secret, much of the data crunched came from what they called the campaign megafile, which comprised canvassing data from pollsters, fundraisers, field workers and consumer databases as well as social-media and mobile contacts.
Big Data will continue to get bigger, and organisations getting to grips with it will continue to gain strategic advantages.
As alluded to above, gathering all that data is one thing - but the ability to make sense of it then act on it is what really matters. The two are practically indivisible, and barely even worth talking about on their own.
The Obama campaign is a great example of how good data analytics and business intelligence creates advantage – it raised $1 billion, reformed the process of targeting TV ads and created detailed models of swing-state voters that were used to increase the effectiveness of everything from phone calls and door knocks to direct mailings and social media. You know the end result.
It’s very hard to imagine that we won’t see effective analytics come to the fore in 2013.
The Cloud and virtualisation.
Of course, all that data must be stored and organised before it can be analysed – what’s more it is growing at quite some pace and users increasingly want 24/7 access. With those significant challenges in mind, aerodynamic businesses will be looking at the flexibility of hybrid cloud solutions. Speaking at the Cloud Outlook for the Enterprise in 2013 conference in the UK, Cloud Industry Forum Chairman Andy Burton agrees: “The big trend for Cloud in 2013 is likely to be the wide acceptance and implementation of hybrid Cloud as the basic model of Cloud service delivery.”
Finally, there is one prediction we can make with absolute confidence… With smart mobile devices driving predicted global IT spending in 2013 to in excess of $2.1 trillion, $730 billion of that in emerging markets, the CIO is going to have an exciting, if busy, 2013.
I just remains for the CXO Unplugged team, everyone here at Logicalis, and me to wish all our readers a very happy Christmas and holiday time, and a prosperous and aerodynamic New Year.