The Next Big Thing
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Predictions for 2011 – A year of transformation, automation and integration

trends.pngNow is the time I get to add to the

flood of predictions for 2011. These are my perspectives on the future, not HP’s so please look at it from that perspective.


2010 was a recovery year from a fiscal perspective and I fully expect that 2011 will be more of the same. There is a general feeling that we’re not out of the woods yet, but there is a degree of optimism and realization that we need to do things differently. We can’t continue to try to cost cut our way to business value delivery.


The areas we’re going to see most notable activity in 2011 are:

  • Cloud computing –You can’t talk about IT today without Cloud coming into the picture. The second half of 2010 was all about the private cloud yet at the same time public cloud was continuing to bloom.  PaaS will move to lead of the storm front in 2011. This is beyond where many cloud discussions stopped in 2010 at IaaS. Hybrid cloud and the related integration required will be recognized as a core competency in order to deliver value to the business. The concept of cloud lock-in will be well understood in 2011 by most organizations and real standard drafts should start to hit the books. The cloud application development industry will be in significant turmoil but some powerful development languages and model will be demonstrated, turning the development world upside down. Business services in the cloud will also significantly increase as part of a XaaS industry shift.
  • Mobility explosion continues – A number of vendors will attack the market with a new device a month approach throughout the year. These will be targeted at specific market segments, so there will be quite a bit of fallout in the mobility space and the real markets will emerge. This will cause more IT organizations to move into a bring your device to work approach rather than being able to standardize on a few models -- I almost said PC but that's an almost meaningless term any more. Industry adoption of mobile devices will become more of a driver in 2011. Consumers will still rule mobility but industry apps, and capabilities will come on in a big way. For example in 2011, 14% of all adult Americans will use a mobile health application to management, health, wellness and chronic conditions – states IDC.
  • Data explosion will continue to accelerate – The digital universe will grow to 1.8ZB in 2011, up 47% from 2010 and heading to 7ZB by 2015. Real time data collection using sensors will increase the demand for context-oriented information use, enabled by predictive/pervasive analytics. Whole new dimensions of Business intelligence will arrive in 2011. This will be the year of a shift from the historical view of most BI to real-time analytics and related processes -- data quality services will become of greater concern. Master data management will also reach a whole new level of expectation so that the information from all these sources and the computational capabilities of hybrid cloud can keep this data train on the rails. I’ve mention this in the past, but hopefully this year there will be greater evidence of Attention Engineering user interface awareness that moving all this data to action will require. The edge of the enterprise will be more important than ever and the focus for continued innovation and advances during the year
  • I believe that automation will be a watchword for 2011. Automation at every level of IT and business ranging from robotics, data center configuration and virtualization, all the way up through the automation of goal-oriented, pattern recognition and decision-making based on sensor information mentioned in the previous area. A couple years back I thought collaboration was the key word – this year I think it will be automation.
  • At the same time as automation being key, the view of employees will shift as well.  As we automate normal, the value of the people who handle the unique will increase. There will be fewer of them and these knowledge workers are not fungible. This will cause a revolution in how value is generated and personnel issues are perceived and handled. This will cause conflict between the HR and finance organizations and the field organizations of corporations.
  • Security will continue to be critical - Since resources for cracking into systems are essentially free, the supply of attacks is infinite. I’ve said in the past that the whole perspective of security needs to change and that really hasn’t happened, but maybe this year. On the other hand the regulation for security and privacy concerns will be a focus of legislative activity in 2011 (at least in the USA). I think we will see “do not track” legislation and that will cause a number of organizations to scramble. There is clearly an arms race between privacy advocates and the information aggregators now that laws will be developed it will likely reach a whole other level. Wikileaks and Stuxnet have raised the awareness of everyone about how naive we’ve all been.
  • This should also be the year for wider business acceptance and new products in telepresence. The adoption of these approaches will allow for greater global collaboration where travel could never have been justified. Joint venture announcements betweeen suppliers and vendors will take place supporting real end-to-end functionality and support. Hybrid solutions that handle more consumers from more types of locations and devices (including handhelds). These will moving away from dedicated facilities with a limited number of participants. New techniques that use servers to minimize the bandwidth required and maximize the functionality will arrive during the year, allowing more types of conferencing options and approaches. The human interfaces will need to change from current approaches though allowing for more multi-party interaction with less distraction for the attendees. There will be significant activity for standards to enable greater cross platform capabilities as well.
  • This will be the year that solid state storage starts to make a real impact as well. This new class of storage will lead to operating systems advances that determine where data will be stored, based on how it is used.
  • Networking advances will also be readily apparent in 2011. 4G wireless will be provided by more communications organizations (or at least near 4G) changing usage behavior. TV moves off the airwaves with the majority of Americas at least trying it out during 2011. The issue of net neutrality will not be resolved in 2011.
  • All these activities will cause IT organizations to change their behavior. New approaches that enable dynamic workload portability between devices, locations and even service providers will change the CIO from being operationally focused to a focus on sourcing, portfolio and relationship management as well as business value generation. This need to develop and manage relationships both outside and inside the company will cause continued CIO churn. The successful among them will find ways to invest in the future delivery model while also looking after current realities. New business and functional expectations for IT will lead IT leadership to guide organizations through a mandatory transformation in 2011 for most organizations.

Much of their initial focus will be on flipping the ratio of how funds are spent to:

  • Modernize – architecting for change, what HP has been talking about with instant-on
  • Transform – break out into a more flexible approach
  • Secure – protect assets without constricting flow
  • Optimize – control and exploit information
  • Deliver – right method, right time, right cost. Without this there will be no right to attack these other areas.


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