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The Biggest Themes of the IT Industry in the Coming Year

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Chuck Hollis 1As the year comes to a close and enterprises begin setting down their 2013 agendas, Chuck Hollis, VP- Global Marketing and CTO at EMC Corporation shares his views on what he believes will be the biggest themes of the IT industry in the coming year.

1. IT Continues To Move From Cost Savings To Value Generation

Following the transition of the years past, customer conversations will continue to focus on “how do we generate more value for the business?” blurring the lines between IT and business strategies.

However, the vast majority of IT organizations weren’t constructed as value-generating entities. Most have to invest in a non-trivial organizational transformation to achieve this state. So the topic of IT transformation becomes extremely relevant — true in 2011, more true in 2012, and now very mainstream during 2013.

2. Digital Business Models Become More Important Than The Ingredients

As a result on rich industry discussion on the latest technology trends, there’s now an interesting acronym floating around- SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, cloud). Hollis believes the year ahead will see the development of a “digital business model” — a complete re-envisioning of an organization’s value proposition using entirely digital constructs bringing each of these elements together with a set of leadership initiatives to transform the business.

3. Executive Literacy Become Important

A growing concern in the current environment is that many business leaders don’t have the required background to understand how to use technology effectively in their businesses. In a world that’s becoming dominated by digital business models, wouldn’t it make sense to demand at least a conceptual grasp of technologies by business leaders throughout the organization? The IT rallying cry for increased executive digital literacy will gather even strength during 2013.

4. Enterprise Users Go 100% Mobile — With Or Without IT

2013 will be the year when most enterprise IT organizations fully come to terms with the fact that pervasive mobility is no longer just a want, it is a need and start the unenviable work of building enterprise mobility environments that bring users back into the fold by offering a superior set of services.

5. A New Wave Of Analytics Addicts In The Business

Hollis believes that in 2013, the world will witness new platform capabilities such as Analytics-as-a-Service that will inevitably be complemented by management education on how to put these new tools to work to continually improve the business. While there is no doubt that the world will still need traditional BI professionals (and the newer breed of data science), executive analytical proficiency will quickly become part of the modern repertoire expected of business leaders around the globe.

6. Big Data Analytics Starts To Change IT Thinking

Big data analytics is one of those tools that can be applied to just about any thorny business problem, and that includes the business of running IT itself. The year ahead will see the big data analytics discussion take root with IT professionals around the globe as toolset that they can use to better run their own businesses.

7. App Factories Become The New Model

Applications are ideally fresh instantiations of business ideas, put into practice as quickly as possible, learned from and enhanced. Unfortunately, the norm seems to be development processes heavily biased towards really big applications with big teams and big investments.
“That’s going to have to change before long: it ought to be as easy for someone in the business to specify an application idea and see a rough prototype as it is, for example, to hire a contractor or two. EMC has practiced this idea in their own business, and it’s paying off handsomely,” says Hollis. He predicts that 2013 will bring a dramatically increased interest in this topic, especially in larger enterprise IT settings.

8. Everything Goes “Software Defined” — And “As-A-Service”

“If ‘software-defined’ describes how IT services will be supplied, then ‘as a service’ will describe how they will be demanded: published for easy consumption when needed and not before,” says Hollis.
In 2013, more and more IT vendors pivoting towards the new supply and demand concepts: IT capabilities produced through dynamic instantiation of virtual instances, and variably consumed as a service.

9. IT Process Engineers Will Rule The Roost

Delivering a service (any service, really) is only as good as the processes and automation behind it, and no one is ever done examining and improving the processes behind any service. Continual process re-engineering, at both the macro and micro level, is the norm in so many disciplines today, and it’s headed straight for IT.

In these more progressive settings, you’ll see a clear category of senior process jockeys, who are empowered to look at things cross-functionally and drive meaningful change in the way things are done.

10. The New School Of Security Will Be In Session

The year ahead will see the development of a relatively new set of philosophies, processes, models and skills to define the new school cyber-security. New tools will definitely be required such as the use of big data and predictive analytics, but will be just one visible icon in a much broader picture of substantial change and evolution.

In 2012, it was mostly the vendor community arguing for a fundamental change in approach. In 2013, I’m predicting we’ll hear even louder voices from the users of these technologies, and in particular our national governments.

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