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Top 10 IT trends for 2012 [Malaysian Business (Malaysia)]
[January 31, 2012]

Top 10 IT trends for 2012 [Malaysian Business (Malaysia)]

(Malaysian Business (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) It's that time of the year again where we look into a crystal ball of predictions on what to look out for in 2012.

ANALYSTS GENERALLY DO NOT differ much on trends to look out for in 2012 as many believes that mobility (tablets and mobile computing), social networking, analytics and cloud represents the imminent technology forces for business innovation that will dominate the IT industry.

An information technology research and advisory firm Gartner predicts that going into 2012 there is an increase in the amount of information available to organisations, but it's a challenge for them to understand it.

Given the shifts in control of systems that IT organisations are facing, the loss of ability to guarantee consistency and effectiveness of data will leave many struggling to prevent their organisations from missing key opportunities or from using questionable information for strategic decisions.

`Any organisation wishing to accelerate in 2012 must establish in itself a significant discipline of coordinating distributed activities,' says Daryl Plummer, managing VP and Gartner Fellow.

`They must establish relationship management as a key skill and train their people accordingly. The reason for this is that the lack of control can only be combated through coordinative activities. The IT organisation of the future must coordinate those who have the money, those who deliver the services, those who secure the data, and those consumers who demand to set their own pace for use of IT,' he stresses.

So what issues need to be on the IT radar screen for 2012? Here's a look at the Top 10 Tech Trends and the implications of those issues, according to Gartner: 1. Media tablets and beyond: Bring-your-own-technology at work has become the norm, not the exception. With that come security and management challenges that IT needs to address. By 2015 media tablet shipments will reach around 50% of laptop shipments and Windows 8 will likely be in 3rd place behind Android and Apple.

Gartner vice president David Cearley believes said that the net result is that Microsoft's share of the client platform, be it PC, tablet or smartphone, will likely be reduced to 60% and it could fall below 50%.

The implication for IT is that the era of PC dominance with Windows as the single platform will be replaced with a post-PC era where Windows is one of a variety of environments IT will need to support. In the smart phones arena, prices will fall for entry- level devices in 2012 with faster two- and four-core processors, and with bigger, brighter, higher- resolution screens, plus 3D, HD video and more sensors such as gyros, compasses and barometers driving greater features into high-end devices.

2. Mobile-centric applications and interfaces: Here touch, gesture and voice search is going to change the way mobile apps work in the future, Cearley explains. By 2014, there will be more than 70 billion mobile application downloads from app stores every year. By 2014, at least half of the tools optimised for app store application development in 2010 will have been acquired or will have ceased to exist.

3. Social and contextual user experience: According to Gartner, context- aware computing uses information about an end user's or object's environment, activities connections and preferences to improve the quality of interaction with that end user or object. A contextually aware system anticipates the user's needs and proactively serves up the most appropriate and customised content, product or service. The tipping point here could be technology such as near-field communications getting into more and more devices.

4. Application stores and marketplace: The key here is the rise of enterprise application stores that can develop specific apps for users. This will let IT manage and control certain apps. But embracing the idea of user choice might be a difficult concept for enterprise IT to embrace, Cearley says. Enterprises should use a managed diversity approach to focus app store efforts and segment apps by risk and value. Where the business value of an app is low and the potential risk, such as the loss of sensitive data, is high, apps might be blocked entirely.

5. The Internet of everything: The idea here is that we are building on pervasive computing where cameras, sensors, microphones, image recognition - everything - is now part of the environment. Remote sensing of everything from electricity to air conditioning use is now part of the network. In addition, increasingly intelligent devices create issues such as privacy concerns.

6. Next-generation analytics: Most enterprises have reached the point in the improvement of performance and costs where Cearley says they can afford to perform analytics and simulation for every action taken in the business. Not only will data centre systems be able to do this, but mobile devices will have access to data and enough capability to perform analytics themselves, potentially enabling use of optimisation and simulation everywhere. Going forward, IT can focus on developing analytics that enable and track collaborative decision-making.

7. Big data: Big data has quickly emerged as a significant challenge for IT leaders. The term only became popular in 2009. By February 2011, a Google search on `big data' yielded 2.9 million hits, and vendors now advertise their products as solutions to the big data challenge. The key thing enterprises have to realise is that they just can't store it all. There are new techniques to handle extreme data, such as Apache Hadoop, but companies will have to develop new skills to effectively use these technologies, Cearley says.

8. In-memory computing: We will see huge use of flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment devices, equipment and other embedded IT systems. In addition, flash offers a new layer of the memory hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages - space, heat, performance and ruggedness among them. Unlike RAM, the main memory in servers and PCs, flash memory is persistent even when power is removed. In that way, it looks more like disk drives where we place information that must survive power- downs and reboots, yet it has much of the speed of memory, far faster than a disk drive.

9. Extreme low-energy servers: What if you could turn 10 virtual machines in one box into 40 slow physical servers that are tiny and use very low amounts of energy? There is a call for this type of computing to handle big data. For example, thousands of these little processors could work on a Hadoop process, Cearley says. Gartner says that 10%-15% of enterprise workloads are good for this. Moving the application from 10 images to 40 slower, less capable machines will only deliver on that promise if the software will perform the same. Server technologies are going to change to handle big data.

10. Cloud computing: This topic went from No. 1 in 2010 to No. 10 in 2011, but it's still an important trend. It will become the next- generation battleground for the likes of Google and Amazon. Going forward, enterprise IT will be concerned with developing hybrid private/public cloud apps, improving security and governance, Cearley says.

New business technology value and innovation DELOITTE CONSULTING LLP'S third annual `Tech Trends 2012' report also identifies and predicts the top 10 emerging and disruptive technologies that are expected to play a crucial role in how businesses are anticipated to operate globally in 2012 and beyond.

`As we head into 2012, many CIOs are evaluating the various aspects of IT, looking ahead to the new technologies that can help them drive business growth in the years ahead,' says Mark White, principal and chief technology officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP and co-author of the report.

`Mobility, social, analytics, cloud and cyber are technology forces each impacting business today. The intersection of these represents an opportunity for new business technology value and innovation,' he adds.

Deloitte's `Tech Trends 2012' distinguished the technologies in two categories: (Re)emerging Enablers and Disruptive Deployments.

(Re)emerging Enablers are five technologies that many CIOs have spent time, thought and resources on in the past, but deserve another look this year.

Disruptive Deployments are five additional technologies that showcase new business models and transformative ways to operate.

`The next 12 months will see several technologies including the cloud, big data and mobility continue to grow, while a topic like gamification is just starting to emerge at the enterprise level,' says Bill Briggs, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP and co-author of the report.

`It will be important for CIOs to help lead their organisations in these areas, as they can redefine the role that IT plays within an organisation and place them in a position to positively disrupt their operating models, business models, or even their industries.' (c) 2012 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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