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Gartner's 2012 Forecast: Cloudy, With Widespread Consumerization

IT departments will need to adapt or make a last stand in the shrinking server closet, says Gartner in its 11 predictions for the coming year.

4. By 2015, mobile application development projects targeting smartphones and tablets will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4-to-1.

Probably, but there's a bit of misdirection here. These smartphone and tablet projects will tie into enterprise systems, data stores, and the like. A lot of them will just be updated frontends, a new user interface for the same data accessed by desktop applications.

5. By 2016, 40% of enterprises will make proof of independent security testing a precondition for using any type of cloud service.

Either that or cloud companies will pursue the same strategy as other corporations that experience a data breach--don't say anything and hope no one notices. But if such certifications come to matter, chances are the companies doing independent security testing will turn out to be as beholden to their clients as companies offering independent credit ratings. Remember the 2008 financial crisis? Too many of those mortgage-backed securities were rated "AAA."

[ Make business intelligence easy to use, deploy, afford, administer, and embed. 5 Resolutions For Better BI in 2012. ]

6. At year end 2016, more than 50% of Global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud.

The more interesting angle here is how Global 1000 companies will define customer-sensitive data four years hence. Cardinal Richelieu is widely (though not universally) believed to have said, "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." Today, that maxim might be rephrased, "If you give me access to six searches related to the most honest of men, I will find something damning." Ultimately, storing any data in the public cloud should be viewed as a risk.

7. By 2015, 35% of enterprise IT expenditures for most organizations will be managed outside the IT department's budget.

IT departments may want to start looking into alternative revenue streams, like Bitcoin and Facebook Credits.

8. By 2014, 20% of Asia-sourced finished goods and assemblies consumed in the United States will shift to the Americas.

Gartner cites political, environmental, economic, and supply chain risks as reasons for the predicted shift. We welcome the return of the industrial revolution to America and the pollution cleanup opportunities that are sure to follow. Let's hope we can fill the jobs that arise with skilled workers rather than industrial robots.

9. Through 2016, the financial impact of cybercrime will grow 10% per year, due to the continuing discovery of new vulnerabilities.

Here's where we get to do some math: What's more profitable, the theft of personal information for a million individuals or the theft of a cloud service company's database containing a million entries? Answer: As a lawyer, either scenario looks pretty promising.

10. By 2015, the prices for 80% of cloud services will include a global energy surcharge.

Potential business idea: Pedal-powered computers.

11. Through 2015, more than 85% of Fortune 500 organizations will fail to effectively exploit big data for competitive advantage.

Gartner's argument is that there's just too much varied, complicated, fast-moving data and that most firms won't be able to use their information to give their operations an edge. But investing in business intelligence is no substitute for making a great product that meets a real need.

Apply advanced analytics to the sales pipeline, Web traffic, and social buzz to anticipate what’s coming, instead of just looking at the past. Also in the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek: A practical guide to biometrics. Download the issue now. (Free registration required.)

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User Rank: Apprentice
12/7/2011 | 11:16:19 PM
re: Gartner's 2012 Forecast: Cloudy, With Widespread Consumerization
Good list. I would expect even more than 40 percent of companies to require independent security certification for cloud services in five years, and if not that some vendors will do it and offer it as proof for differentiation purposes.
Brian Prince, InformationWeek/Dark Reading Comment Moderator
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