Posted by: kenwbudd | December 16, 2010

Gartner’s Top Predictions for IT organisations in 2011

Gartner, Inc. has published its top predictions for IT organisations and users for 2011 and beyond. Analysts said that the predictions highlight the significant changes in the roles played by technology and IT organisations in business, the global economy and the lives of individual users.

More than 100 of the strongest Gartner predictions across all research areas were submitted for consideration this year. This year’s selection process included evaluating several criteria that define a top prediction. The issues examined included relevance, impact and audience appeal.
“With costs still under pressure, growth opportunities limited and low tolerance to bear risk, IT faces increased levels of scrutiny from stakeholders both internal and external,” said Darryl Plummer, managing vice president and Gartner fellow. 
“As organisations plan for the years ahead, our predictions focus on the impact this scrutiny will have on outcomes, operations, users and reporting. All parties expect greater transparency, and meeting this demand will require that IT become more tightly coupled to the levers of business control.”
“Gartner’s top predictions showcase the trends and disruptive events that will reshape the nature of business for the next year and beyond,” said Brian Gammage, vice president and Gartner fellow.
“Selected from across our research areas as the most compelling and critical predictions, the developments and topics they address this year focus on changes in the roles that technologies and IT organisations play: in the lives of workers, and the performance of businesses in the wider world.”
Last year’s theme of rebalancing supply, consumer demand and regulation is still present across most of the predictions, but the view has shifted further toward external effects. 
This year’s top predictions highlight an increasingly visible linkage between technology decisions and outcomes, both economic and societal.
The top predictions which have clear implications for the business continuity profession include:
By 2015, a G20 nation’s critical infrastructure will be disrupted and damaged by online sabotage.
Online attacks can be multimodal, in the sense of targeting multiple systems for maximum impact, such as the financial system (the stock exchange), physical plant (the control systems of a chemical, nuclear or electric plant), or mobile communications (mobile-phone message routers). 
Such a multimodal attack can have lasting effects beyond a temporary disruption, in the same manner that the Sept. 11 attacks on the US had repercussions that have lasted for nearly a decade. If a national stock market was rendered unavailable for several weeks, there would be lasting effects even if there was no change in government, although it is also possible that such disruptive actions could eventually result in a change in leadership.
By 2014, 90 percent of organisations will support corporate applications on personal devices.
The trend toward supporting corporate applications on employee-owned notebooks and smartphones is already under way in many organisations and will become commonplace within four years. 
The main driver for adoption of mobile devices will be employees — i.e., individuals who prefer to use private consumer smartphones or notebooks for business, rather than using old-style limited enterprise devices. 
IT is set to enter the next phase of the consumerisation trend, in which the attention of users and IT organisations shifts from devices, infrastructure and applications to information and interaction with peers. This change in view will herald the start of the post-consumerisation era.
By 2013, 80 percent of businesses will support a workforce using tablets.
The Apple iPad is the first of what promises to be a huge wave of media tablets focused largely on content consumption, and to some extent communications, rather than content creation, with fewer features and less processing power than traditional PCs and notebooks or pen-centric tablet PCs. 
Support requirements for media tablets will vary across and within enterprises depending on usage scenario. At minimum, in cases where employees are bringing their own devices for convenience, enterprises will have to offer appliance-level support with a limited level of network connectivity e.g. access to enterprise mail, schedules, and help desk support for connectivity issues and data transfer.
Additional details are in the Gartner report ‘Gartner’s Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2011 and Beyond: IT’s Growing Transparency’ which is available on Gartner’s website.
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