Constellation Research Group wants to take the guesswork out of this year’s technology happenings. The research firm, headed by CEO and analyst extraordinaire R. “Ray” Wang, offers these five startling predictions for 2011.
1. The Wikileaks Effect. Citizen engagement platforms may strive to be even more “open,” but according to Constellation, the backlash from Wikileaks, along with a Republican takeover in the U.S. House of Representatives, will lead to a rash of “military grade encryption packages” that will be stacked on top of many apps and platforms to bolster security.
2. Social not just for sexy’s sake. Companies will recognize that for social media to feel sexy there is a lot of work that needs to happen behind the scenes. The result: an emphasis on building integrated platforms that can leverage social channels in an effort to foster healthier, better relationships with customers. Forget about tools and technologies. Instead, Constellation predicts that IT managers will begin to realize that processes and people count just as much as social media technology.
3. Say goodbye to forced consolidation. Despite years of trying to unify disparate functions onto a single device such as a smartphone, Constellation predicts that tools such as the iPad and Kindle will prove to consumers and businesses alike that sometimes it’s best to embrace a device that excels at a singular or select number of functions. Because more and more employees will begin using different devices for different applications, IT managers will have to focus their efforts on establishing clear-cut policies for security, manageability and reimbursement.
4. A cloud of confusion. Expect to weather a storm of controversy surrounding what does and doesn’t constitute cloud computing. According to Constellation’s research, the lack of coherence and understanding of “the cloud” will result in wasted money on haphazard efforts to implement cloud computing models that simply aren’t sustainable or reliable.
5. An uptick in IT employment. Corporate IT spending in the U.S. and Canada will increase a meager two percent at the median, after two years of flat budgets. Yet despite widespread hiring freezes, Constellation predicts a significant upturn in the deployment of new major projects, extended work hours for IT employees, and increased reliance on IT contractors.
Edited by Tammy Wolf