IT Predictions for 2013 Start Rolling In

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‘Tis the season for IT predictions. For many it amounts to entertaining filler at the end of the year; for others it is a glimpse of what IT activity they might expect in the coming 12-24 months. Many of the predictions don’t pan out. Others are correct but just delayed a year or so.

wiredFINANCE made its set of predictions for 2012. You can see how well we did here. We probably hit about half but some were specifically noted as being beyond 2012.

Of course, the big research players with large team of analysts weigh in each year. Find Gartner’s top 10 predictions here. You might note what they say about personal clouds. Forrester’s cloud predictions for 2013 are here You might want to check what they say on getting real about cloud costs. Symantec conducts a lot of customer surveys, which often are written up on wiredFINANCE. This year Symantec makes some interesting predictions, particularly about software-defined data centers, a term you’ll starting hearing a lot more. Let’s look more closely at some of the predictions.

Symantec calls the software-defined data center the new buzzword. For sure, wiredFINANCE thinks of it as software-defined everything. Software-defined data centers, networks, and anything else are really about virtualization taken to its extreme.

Here is what Symantec says: Software defined data centers will take on cloud computing to become the new industry buzz word. Most large enterprise data centers will evolve to software-defined data centers where IT services are separated and not dependent on the underlying hardware. Commodity hardware, appliances and cloud will become increasing reliant on smart software that will define and drive the future of data center computing. Symantec doesn’t talk about cost but it probably won’t save money. Rather it will deliver great agility, flexibility, and responsiveness to business and technology change.

Gartner is bullish on mobile phones. By 2013, it predicts mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide; by 2015 over 80 percent of the handsets sold in mature markets will be smartphones. In early 2010 wiredFINANCE suggested you might not get a PC again.

More interesting is Gartner’s idea of the personal cloud gradually replacing the PC as the location where individuals keep their personal content, access their services and personal preferences and center their digital lives. The personal cloud, Gartner explains, will entail the unique collection of services, Web destinations and connectivity that will become the home of people’s computing and communication activities. Here no one platform, form factor, technology or vendor will dominate and managed diversity and mobile device management will be an imperative. The personal cloud shifts the focus from the client device to cloud-based services delivered across devices.

Forrester talks about getting real about cloud costs and cloud cost modeling. For two years now, it notes, the firm has been preaching that the cloud isn’t always cheaper but most likely cheaper with the right use model, a subtle distinction. If you want to get the best ROI out of your use of cloud services and platforms, it advises, you need to actively model the cost profile of your applications, monitor their resource use, and adjust accordingly. Forrester isn’t saying cost should solely drive your cloud deployment decisions, only that cost can no longer be ignored or assumed. In 2013, Forrester notes, the CFO will wise up to cloud costs and pressure IT about cloud cost management.

None of the prognosticators above mentioned anything about security in their 2013 predictions. Don’t take that as a sign to let down your guard. In fact, here is one security prediction that will become more important in 2013 and beyond: digital forensics will become a critical IT security skill.

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