2012: More Information, Less Control

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December 8, 2011 – Mass amounts of information will dominate data structures in 2012, setting up the year as a tipping point for information control, IT budgets and adoption of cloud and mobile devices, according to predictions from Gartner Research.

Among its more than 70 predictions for 2012 and beyond, Gartner foresees next year as the starting point of big decisions – and missteps – in dealing with record-high volumes of data. To deal with that information glut, global enterprises will make more moves during the year to new mobile capabilities and deployment to the cloud in the year ahead, said Daryl Plummer, managing VP and Gartner fellow, said in a news release on the predictions for 2012.

The emerging “industrialized low-cost IT services” (ILCS) market will bring wider deployment to the cloud and, in turn, cut deeply into top outsourcing providers’ revenue by up to 15 percent by 2015, the research firm stated. And increasingly, enterprises will turn to the hybrid cloud environments to store customer-sensitive data, including up to half of customer-sensitive data within four years, according to Gartner.

Mobile application development projects will edge those for PCs for the first time in 2012, and enterprise smartphone and tablet adoption will represent 90 percent of new net devices over the next four years, Gartner predicts. In addition, email access will increasingly be dealt with on mobile devices and tablets instead of desktops, to the point that half of all email use will be conducted on mobile browsers by 2016.

Those cloud and mobile factors bring capabilities to handle mass amounts of data in new ways, but also changes in responsibility for internal IT departments and their accompanying budgets, Plummer said.

"As users take more control of the devices they will use, business managers are taking more control of the budgets IT organizations have watched shift over the last few years. As the world of IT moves forward, CIOs are finding that they must coordinate their activities in a much wider scope than they once controlled,” Plummer said. “While this might be a difficult prospect for IT departments, they must now adapt or be swept aside."

However, Gartner predicts limited success in the near term. With decreasing control over data and no regulatory help in the works, Gartner stated that most enterprises will miss competitive opportunities with this data, including up to 85 percent of Fortune 500 organizations unable to bring timely and profitable returns on unstructured data by 2015.

Gartner predicts up to 35 percent of enterprise IT expenditures will be managed outside of the IT department’s budget by 2015. Because of this financial shift, IT departments will not always be contextualized by the technology that surrounds them, and their budgets will more often be reallocated to other areas in the enterprise or redefined on the basis of projects, according to Gartner.

For an edge with the changes in data management and control, Plummer recommends organizational coordination of distributed activities, training in relationship management skills and collaboration on a plan of action for the shifting information landscape in 2012.

"The IT organization of the future must coordinate those who have the money, those who deliver the services, those who secure the data, and those consumers who demand to set their own pace for use of IT," Plummer said.

For these and other predictions from Gartner for 2012 and beyond, click here. To register for Gartner’s Dec. 21 Web seminar on these predictions, click here.

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