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Gartner's Top Predictions for 2011 and Beyond


Analyst firm Gartner Inc. has revealed its top predictions for IT organizations and users for 2011 and beyond. The firm's analysts said that the predictions they have come up with highlight the significant changes in the roles played by technology and IT organizations in business, the global economy, and the lives of individual users.

"With costs still under pressure, growth opportunities limited, and the tolerance to bear risk low, IT faces increased levels of scrutiny from stakeholders both internal and external," said Darryl Plummer, managing vice president and Gartner fellow. "As organizations plan for the years ahead, our predictions focus on the impact this scrutiny will have on outcomes, operations, users, and reporting. All parties expect greater transparency, and meeting this demand will require that IT becomes more tightly coupled to the levers of business control."

Some of the top predictions include:

By 2015, a G20 nation's critical infrastructure (somewhere) will be disrupted and damaged by online sabotage:
Online attacks can be multi-modal, in the sense of targeting multiple systems for maximum impact, such as the financial system (the stock exchange), physical plant (the control systems of a chemical, nuclear, or electric plant), or mobile communications (mobile-phone message routers). Such a multi-modal attack can have lasting effects beyond a temporary disruption, in the same manner that the Sept. 11 attacks on the US had repercussions that have lasted for nearly a decade.

By 2015, information-smart businesses will be increase IT spending per head by 60 percent:
Those IT-enabled organizations that successfully navigated the recent recession and return to growth will benefit from many internal and external dynamics. Consolidation, optimization, and cost transparency programs have made decentralized IT investments more visible, increasing "recognized" IT spending. This, combined with staff reduction and freezes, will reward the leading companies within each industry segment with an IT productivity windfall that culminates in at least a 60 percent increase in the metric for "IT spending per organization employee" when compared against the metrics of peer organizations and internal trending metrics.

By 2015, tools and automation will eliminate 25 percent of labor hours associated with IT services:
As the IT services industry matures, it will increasingly mirror other industries, such as manufacturing, in transforming from a craftsmanship to a more industrialized model. Cloud computing will hasten the use of tools and automation in IT services as the new paradigm brings with it self-service, automated provisioning and metering, etc., to deliver industrialized services with the potential to transform the industry from a custom environment to one characterized by automated delivery of IT services.

By 2014, 90 percent of organizations will support corporate applications on personal devices:
The trend toward supporting corporate applications on employee-owned notebooks and smartphones is already under way in many organizations and will become commonplace within four years. The main driver for adoption of mobile devices will be employees — i.e. individuals who prefer to use private consumer smartphones or notebooks for business, rather than using old-style limited enterprise devices.

... and finally ...

By 2015, 10 percent of your online "friends" will be non-human:
Social media strategy involves several steps: establishing a presence, listening to the conversation, speaking (articulating a message), and ultimately, interacting in a two-way, fully engaged manner. Thus far, many organizations have established a presence, and are mostly projecting messages through Twitter feeds and Facebook updates that are often only an incremental step up from RSS feeds. By 2015, efforts to systematize and automate social engagement will result in the rise of social bots — automated software agents that can handle, to varying degrees, interaction with communities of users in a manner personalized to each individual.


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