A Running Start to 2012
in 2012 will
FOR IT, 2011 WAS A TRANSITIONAL YEAR. A lot of big things were on the horizon (data center as a service, for instance), but few of the profound concepts jelled. The consumerization of IT arrived in full measure, and cloud computing stopped being science fiction. Will
the changes that take place in 2012 be more concrete? Here’s my list of
likelihoods for the new year.
Scot Finnie is
editor in chief.
You can contact
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Big data. The benefits of business intelligence and
analytics have never been more keenly desired
than they are right now. The trouble is, most
corporate data doesn’t line up into nice, structured
rows; it comes in a wide variety of formats. This
makes harnessing the huge volumes of data we
now have at our disposal a tall technical hurdle.
Hadoop, the software framework and file system
that many believe will be an important tool for
mastering big data, is promising. There’s a long
way to go, but progress toward conquering big data
will be the most significant development in 2012.
CoIT, BYOD and mobile. In 2012, discussions
about whether to embrace or clamp down on the
consumerization of IT (CoIT) and the trend of employees bringing their own devices to work (BYOD)
will begin to look silly. Consumer technologies can
be put to work. And as long as that’s the case, they’ll
be part of the workplace. It’s time to get practical
and start focusing on how you manage security and
other aspects of those technologies. You also need a
strategy for managing and supporting mobile apps.
Social media and the enterprise. It’s too late for
most companies to create internal social networks;
they’re not going to succeed. And attempts to block
Facebook and Twitter are pointless. Those are
the social sites that people devote their time to —
they’re the lingua franca of social media. The question is, will companies such as Facebook create
services that are useful to enterprises? If they do, a
new social media explosion will begin.
Cloud computing. By the end of 2012, cloud
computing may start to look a bit like a rumpled
old suit. The problems will be glaring, and we will
have more examples of cloud gone wrong. But
we’ll also see solutions to these problems begin to
emerge, as well as some early best practices. Cloud
is here to stay. The only question the jury is out on
is which aspects of cloud will take off.
Virtualization. Server virtualization (which may
seem old hat to some of us) will grow vigorously
in 2012. Why? Because many companies have
yet to adopt it, and their server rooms are filled
with equipment that should have been replaced
in 2008. As enterprises seek to modernize their
hardware, many will turn to server virtualization
to stretch their capital-expenditure budgets.
Tablets vs. PCs. Will tablets really replace PCs?
No. The truth is that tablets aren’t replacing notebooks on the business desktop; they’re an extension
of the computer experience for some. Short term,
at any rate, the tablet sales explosion has been overrated as an agent of change for enterprise I T. The
advent of lightweight but powerful 15-in. ultrabooks
will be the breakthrough that keeps PCs relevant
in a world where people have been seduced by the
convenience of tablets.
Security. The confluence of constrained budgets
and the rise of more sophisticated hacking techniques could easily spell disaster for some enterprises in 2012. It’s a great time for a security review.