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Future ICT...

Gartner has released a list of predictions outlining the changes we can expect to see in ICT over the next few years.

Particular trends that business continuity managers need to be aware of include the following:

By 2016, at least 50 percent of enterprise email users will rely primarily on a browser, tablet or mobile client instead of a desktop client. While the rise in popularity of mobile devices and the growing comfort with browser use for enterprise applications preordains a richer mix of email clients and access mechanisms, the pace of change over the next four years will be breathtaking. Email system vendors are also likely to build mobile clients for a diverse set of devices for the same reason. Market opportunities for mobile device management platform vendors will soar. Increased pressure will be on those suppliers to accommodate an increasing portfolio of collaboration services, including instant messaging, Web conferencing, social networking and shared workspaces.

By 2015, mobile application development projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4-to-1. Smartphones and tablets represent more than 90 percent of the new net growth in device adoption for the coming four years, and increasing application platform capability across all classes of mobile phones is spurring a new frontier of innovation, particularly where mobile capabilities can be integrated with location, presence and social information to enhance the usefulness. Innovation is moving to the edge for mobile devices; whereas, in 2011, Gartner estimates that app development projects targeting PCs to be on par with mobile development. Future adoption will triple from 4Q10 to 1Q14, and will result in the vast majority of client-side applications being mobile only or mobile first for these devices.

By 2016, 40 percent of enterprises will make proof of independent security testing a precondition for using any type of cloud service. While enterprises are evaluating the potential cloud benefits in terms of management simplicity, economies of scale and workforce optimization, it is equally critical that they carefully evaluate cloud services for their ability to resist security threats and attacks. Inspectors' certifications will eventually become a viable alternative or complement to third-party testing. This means that instead of requesting that a third-party security vendor conduct testing on the enterprise's behalf, the enterprise will be satisfied by a cloud provider's certificate stating that a reputable third-party security vendor has already tested its applications.

At year-end 2016, more than 50 percent of Global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud. With the current global economy facing financial pressure, organizations are compelled to reduce operational costs and streamline their efficiency. Responding to this imperative, it is estimated that more than 20 percent of organizations have already begun to selectively store their customer-sensitive data in a hybrid architecture that is a combined deployment of their on-premises solution with a private and/or public cloud provider in 2011.

By 2015, 35 percent of enterprise IT expenditures for most organizations will be managed outside the IT department's budget. Next generation digital enterprises are being driven by a new wave of business managers and individual employees who no longer need technology to be contextualized for them by an IT department. These people are demanding control over the IT expenditure required to evolve the organization within the confines of their roles and responsibilities. CIOs will see some of their current budget simply reallocated to other areas of the business. In other cases, IT projects will be redefined as business projects with line-of-business managers in control.

Through 2016, the financial impact of cybercrime will grow 10 percent per year, due to the continuing discovery of new vulnerabilities. As IT delivery methods meet the demand for the use of cloud services and employee-owned devices, new software vulnerabilities will be introduced, and innovative attack paths will be developed by financially motivated attackers. The combination of new vulnerabilities and more targeted attacks will lead to continued growth in bottom-line financial impact because of successful cyber attacks.

Additional details are in the Gartner report, Gartner's Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2012 and Beyond: Control Slips Away, which is available on Gartner's website at www.gartner.com/predicts

•Date: 2nd December 2011 • Region: World •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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