12 Technology Predictions for 2012


By Samuel Greengard

My Intel-powered crystal ball is displaying the following 12 information technology trends for 2012:

1. The cloud lifts. Vendor hype notwithstanding, cloud computing is here to stay. It cuts costs, streamlines collaboration and provides a high level of flexibility and scalability for companies large and small.

2. Mobility rules. Companies are finding it next to impossible to avoid the tractor beam of mobile apps and an untethered workforce. Those that are late to the party could find themselves locked out of markets and opportunities.

3. Digital wallets emerge. Various companies and consortiums are busy developing the long-anticipated digital wallet--most likely using near field communication (NFC) and smartphones. Expect a major announcement during the coming year.

4. Consumerization accelerates. Meet the new boss! Employees and customers now drive IT decisions.

5. Green = green. An eco-friendly approach to IT is good for everyone. But, as a growing number of organizations are discovering, an energy efficient infrastructure also demands fewer greenbacks.

6. Sustainability initiatives will drive IT decisions. Businesses are now fully embracing sustainability and many are turning to specialized accounting methods to measure and quantify drivers for business performance and gain a competitive advantage. All of this requires new technology and fresh IT approaches.

7. Governance Grows. As regulations and risks mount, GRC systems and software will grow more complex...and crucial.

8. Security Risks Accelerate. Hackers and thieves are unleashing ultra-sophisticated malware and attacks that make yesterdays viruses look like child's play. Welcome to the new normal.

9. Social media will continue to challenge companies. Only a few companies have fully harnessed the power of social media. It's a steep learning curve and one that require growing business and IT resources.

10. Tablets will prevail. They're convenient, they're powerful, and they fit neatly into an agile enterprise. They're revolutionizing the way workers access information and use it in the field.

11. Big Data goes mainstream. Companies are sitting on a treasure trove of unused data. Organizations that can connect all the dots will gain enormous insights and competitive advantage.

12. Businesses get into the app store business. It's all about dollars and sense. An internal app store simplifies IT and provides a more flexible and secure approach to distributing apps, particularly in the mobile arena.

Happy New Year!