Now in its fourth year, the “Top 10 Tech Trends to Watch” list from IT solutions and managed services provider Logicalis is always one to pay attention to since it looks at what CIOs and CTOs have been posting and tweeting on social media in the past 12 months. It makes this arguably one of the best leading indicators of what will be the hot items for coming year as well.
Lisa Dreher, vice president of marketing at Logicalis, said, “Hearing first-hand what topics and concerns CIOs and CTOs are posting in blogs, forums, Facebook and Twitter gives us critical information that we can use to tailor our services to meet their needs. It’s something every company should do at periodic intervals throughout the year, but particularly as the year winds down. End-of-year discussions like these indicate clear trends that can drive innovation.”
In some ways, the list of top items being bantered about by those in charge of enterprise IT purchasing is exactly what you would predict. Condensing down the top three items, it seems in 2013 we are going to continue to hear a lot more about securing the mobile cloud.
All jesting aside, the list shows that CIOs and CTOs are talking about solutions to the challenges they face in regard to the universal realities of business process optimization (improving efficiency and effectiveness while cutting costs and increasing margins) and improving the customer experience to engender or increase customer loyalty and decrease churn.
CIO and CTO Chatter
Below is the list in order with abbreviated explanations. The Logicalis includes observations on each of the categories and supporting resource links to various other studies, which is worth exploring. It should also be noted that these are most certainly not mutually exclusive categories. Indeed, the one thing not covered in the findings is the degree of over-lap and the growing interdependencies of the items below which are changing the buyer/seller landscape profoundly as vendor ecosystems evolved and adapt to changing marker competitive and customer requirements.
- Cloud: Actually, multifaceted since it involves a series of important sub-topics including managed services, hybrid clouds, moving apps to the cloud and private versus public clouds.
- Mobility: No surprise this is near the top since accommodating the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon is now understood by IT to not be a trend to be squashed but a movement to be carefully and wisely embraced, especially since in many cases it is the executive suite, running the business from their personal devices, that is driving the requirement.
- Security: Again no surprise on being on the list or at the top. No matter what aspect of the business one looks at from physical threats to virtual ones, risk management has never been more important for protecting not just “E”verything and “E”veryone.
- Vendor Management: This refers to not just asset but contract management. What is interesting here is not that managing vendor relations is part of the “buzz” but that outsourcing parts of contract management is gaining traction if the interactions are an indication.
- Big Data: This includes not just how to use it to create actionable business intelligence, but also the challenges associated with meeting peak demands for computing horsepower and how to store it (see below) and access securely (see above).
- Social Media: There is high curiosity as to how to best leverage the influence and impact of social for internal, interacting with customers and obtaining competitive insights.
- Data Center Efficiency: Running an efficient data center without unnecessary redundancies and wasted computing power is a top priority with such topics as data center optimization, cloud computing, sunsetting old IT assets, network rationalization and managed services high on the list.
- Innovation: Turns out CIOs and CTOs are looking at their infrastructures and are starting to consider the best ways to deploy next-generation architectures that enable them to be more flexible and faster to adapt to a new normal change and its increased speed are the only constants and where a larger premium is going to be placed on those who can be more proactive.
- Outsourcing: Logicalis says CIOs and CTOs are in a bit of a surprise talking about handing over some of their vendor contracting chores to third-parties, but other tasks that formally would have been seen as too consequential to be outside of internal control. Certainly an area to watch in 2013.
- Data Storage: In essence this is confirmation that the data tsunami has arrived and dealing with it is no easy matter and people are looking for best practices and help.
While admittedly a snapshot from one vendor on what it is seeing, the list and order seem to reflect accurately what is and will be top of mind for enterprise IT professionals around the world. I will admit I was not as surprised as Logicalis that vendor management is a hot topic. What is surprising, given that this goes to the heart of creating trusted relationships, is that even this critical but not often visible area outsourcing is being given consideration.
What did surprise me is that as categories, particularly highly ranted ones the following did not make the top 10 list: compliance, corporate governance, disaster recovery/contingency planning and customer experience.
From my discussions with IT professionals this past year, compliance, which touches virtually every other item on the list, is a top three priority. In particular, it is a major driven and/or inhibitor of thing relating to the cloud and data storage. Disaster recovery and business continuity, based on traffic outrages that occurred during natural disasters in the U.S. that stressed data center capabilities and performance assumptions, was also a very hot topic that hits on almost all of the above. And, it is a little disconcerting that despite all of the press coverage this past year, and the supposed priority of C-levels in general, that technology for improving the customer experience did not make the list.
On the latter, this is why list making is always, despite the use of numbers, as much subjective as objective. In fact, if you or your company has insights about the “buzz” that is driving the market please let me know. Sharing trends and exchanging information is a trend I would like to see on top 10 lists at the end of this coming year.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey