Gartner reveals top predictions for 2013-2016

Research and advisory firm, Gartner, has released its list of technology predictions and trends for the years 2013 and beyond.

According to Gartner, its top predictions focus on economic risks, opportunities and innovations that will impel CIOs to move to the next generation of business-driven solutions.

The predictions were selected from across Gartner’s research areas and address trends and topics that underline the reduction of control that IT has over the forces that affect it.

“The priorities of CEOs must be dealt with by CIOs who exist in a still-turbulent economy and increasingly uncertain technology future,” Gartner managing vice-president, Daryl Plummer, said.

The predictions include:

By 2014 … …

IT hiring in major Western markets will come predominantly from Asian-headquartered companies enjoying double-digit growth. An increasing number of successful Asian companies, particularly from China and India, will be responsible for major hiring of IT professionals to support their growth at a time when Western companies will still be coping with the impact of the economic crisis. Aggravating the disparity between the hiring practices of Western and Asian organisations will be the increased use of industrialised IT solutions, which will further reduce the IT staffing needs of Western firms.

Three of the top five mobile handset vendors will be Chinese. Mobile phone penetration in emerging markets has resulted in traditional mobile phone players getting squeezed and being unable to compete with Apple and Samsung at the high end, as well as struggling to differentiate from aggressive new vendors, most notably Huawei and ZTE. Chinese vendors have the opportunity to leverage their strong position in the domestic Chinese market for entry-level smartphones and expand to other regions, because this is not just an emerging-market phenomenon.

Employee-owned devices will be compromised by malware at more than double the rate of corporate-owned devices. Gartner says that enterprises that adopt BYOD initiatives should establish clear policies that outline which employee-owned devices will be allowed and which will be banned. In the BYOD era, security professionals will need to diligently monitor vulnerability announcements and security incidents involving mobile devices and respond appropriately with policy updates.

Software spending resulting from the proliferation of smart operational technology will increase by 25 per cent. Operational devices, such as vending machines or medical devices, are now having software embedded in them, and sensors are being linked to the Internet to create and receive data streams. This machine-to-machine communication has the potential to trigger significant new software costs.

European Union directives will drive legislation to protect jobs, reducing offshoring by 20 per cent through 2016. Gartner expects to see the European Union introducing directives before the end of 2014 to protect local jobs. It foresees opportunities to be created for firms to invest further in lower-cost parts of Europe, or in areas within their domestic location, where costs may be lower.

Market consolidation will displace up to 20 per cent of the top 100 IT services providers. Forces, including Cloud, Big Data, mobility and social media, along with continued global economic uncertainty, will accelerate the restructuring of the nearly $1 trillion IT services market. By 2015, Gartner predicts low-cost Cloud services to cannibalise up to 15 per cent of top outsourcing players’ revenue, and more than 20 per cent of large IT outsourcers not investing enough in industrialisation and value-added services will disappear through merger and acquisition.

By 2015 … …

Big data demand will reach 4.4 million jobs globally, but only one-third of those jobs will be filled. Gartner says the demand for Big Data is growing, and enterprises will need to reassess their competencies and skills to respond to this opportunity. Jobs that are filled will result in real financial and competitive benefits for organisations. An important aspect of the challenge in filling these jobs lies in the fact that enterprises need people with new skills — data management, analytics and business expertise and non-traditional skills necessary for extracting the value of Big Data, as well as artists and designers for data visualisation.

90 per cent of enterprises will bypass broad-scale deployment of Windows 8. Gartner claims that most enterprises and their trusted management vendors are not yet prepared for the change to Windows 8, and says enterprises will want to wait for more stability before proceeding. While Microsoft as a technology company can make these changes at a more advanced pace, the market will take time to mature, and most enterprises will sit on the sideline for now.

40 per cent of the Global 1000 organisations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations. Gamification addresses engagement, transparency of work, and connecting employees’ actions to business outcomes. Companies apply feedback, measurement and incentives, the same techniques that game designers use, to keep players interested and to achieve the needed engagement for the transformation of business operations. Gartner predicts that the worldwide market will grow from $242 million in 2012 to $2.8 billion in 2016, with enterprise gamification eclipsing consumer gamification in 2013.

By 2016 … …

Wearable smart electronics in shoes, tattoos and accessories will emerge as a $10 billion industry. Gartner claims the majority of revenue from wearable smart electronics over the next four years will come from athletic shoes and fitness tracking, communications devices for the ear, and automatic insulin delivery for diabetics. Wearable smart electronics, such as fitness trackers, often come with data analysis applications or services that create useful insights for the wearer. Applications and services will create new value for consumers, especially when combined with personal preferences, location, biosensing and social information.

By 2017 … …

40 per cent of enterprise contact information will have leaked into Facebook via employees’ increased use of mobile device collaboration applications. According to Gartner, while many organisations have been legitimately concerned about the physical coexistence of consumer and enterprise applications on devices that interact with IT infrastructure, there has been little discussion about the underlying technologies that permit transfer of information between legitimate enterprise-controlled applications and consumer applications. These interactions are difficult to track, and the technologies to control the transfer are more difficult to build, deploy and manage.

“As the world of IT moves forward, it is finding that it must coordinate activities in a much wider scope than it once controlled, and as a result, a loss of control echoes through several predictions we are making,” Plummer said.

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