Analyst technology predictions 2011
(Edit – updated with more predictions. Computing have taken extracts and copied on their site – if anyone spots the citation please let me know!)
Every year industry analysts formally put their reputation on the line and make predictions for the next 12 months. This post aims to summarise their views in one place – I recommend you click on the links by each post if you want to read more detail.
And for a bit of fun, why don’t you also compare how they did last year on this post
Firms included are: Irregular Enterprise, Gartner, Ovum, CCS Insight, Nucleus Research, HfS, Infotrends, Quocirca, IHS Screen Digest, Forrester, Disruptive Analysis, Tech Market View
(In my opinion, this list is the most accurate)
- 2011 will be like 2010 only more so.
- Collaboration will be big. Somewhere.
- It will be increasingly cloudy. Especially in Manchester, north west England where they get 300 days of rain a year. Elsewhere, the IT media will be buried in cloudy press releases.
- Industry analysts wont revisit their 2010 predictions without massaging what they said before. Almost nobody will notice except those who keep an eye on quantitative analyses and call bull on the numbers.
- Industry analysts that got more than 10% of their predictions right will crow over their ability to predict the future. Nobody else will care.
- Industry analysts will make bold predictions for 2011 based on their current research agendas. Vendors whose offerings align will sign away millions in wasted ‘research.’
- Software will conclusively prove that cows are the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases. The ensuing bovine cull will ensure population starvation on a massive scale thus solving our climate change issues. Those flogging carbon solutions will be put out of business.
- Someone will insert an RSS enabled RFID device into Mark Zuckerberg’s rectum so that we all get to know what he really thinks about privacy. As a result, Zuck will have to endure a TSA pat down but will opt to be processed in a private area. That won’t prevent any of us from knowing what’s going on while enterprise security experts study the resultant data stream with interest.
- Social business consultants will win huge government contracts – to be executed from padded cells over the next 25 years. People like me will be relieved that the madness of social business has been correctly allocated the appropriate resources.
- Social media will suffer a backlash (oops – it’s already happened but the social media mavens didn’t notice. This is just to keep them up to speed.)
- By 2015, a G20 nation’s critical infrastructure will be disrupted and damaged by online sabotage.
- By 2015, new revenue generated each year by IT will determine the annual compensation of most new Global 2000 CIOs.
- By 2015, information-smart businesses will increase recognized IT spending per head by 60 per cent.
- By 2015, tools and automation will eliminate 25 per cent of labor hours associated with IT services.
- By 2015, 20 per cent of non-IT Global 500 companies will be cloud service providers.
- By 2014, 90 per cent of organizations will support corporate applications on personal devices.
- By 2013, 80 per cent of businesses will support a workforce using tablets.
- By 2015, 10 per cent of your online “friends” will be nonhuman.
Security, cloud services and sustainability will be three of the most important trends in enterprise IT in 2011, according to Ovum and Trend Micro.
- Security – Security continues to be high on the IT agenda as the number of threats to businesses increases rapidly.
- Data management – Data management will be a key area due to the sheer volumes now passing through enterprises.
- Business analytics – Business analytics will remain an important tool for organisations that want to differentiate themselves from the competition in 2011
- Mobility – In IT management, the mobility challenge in 2011 will be to embrace the new technology while developing a strategy that maintains a balance between user preference and productivity and corporate security and compliance.
- Data centre transformation – The role of the data centre is witnessing a dramatic shift as the cloud computing era heralds a new dawn in the delivery of IT services in 2011.
- Cloud services – Cloud computing will continue to grow steadily in 2011.
- Collaboration – To cater for changes in work practices, an integrated approach to collaboration is needed which includes social networking and video conferencing.
- Sustainability – New opportunities will continue to emerge in 2011 which allow organisations to work in a more environmentally-friendly way.
- IT financial management – The CIO should talk the language of business and put in place better IT financial management in 2011.
- Context-aware computing – In 2011, CIOs should be looking to instrumentation, metering and wireless technologies to play a significant role in providing the context which can lead to automated business processes and increased productivity.
(full summary can be downloaded here)
- Apple buys TomTom.
- Huawei’s Ideos brand will enter the top five manufacturers by 2015.
- Nintendo will launch “DS Mobile”, a connected portable gaming device, by 2012.
- 3D becomes a major theme on mobile devices in 2011 but mobile 3D displays flatter to deceive.
- In 2012 Apple unveils the “iScreen”, a connected screen for the home.
- Tablets will fail to live up to the hype.
- Facebook buys Skype and launches a calling service within its mobile applications.
- Concern grows over addiction to mobile devices, particularly among the under-25s.
- Operators will focus on speed and quality of service rather than number of gigabytes when marketing mobile data.
- Operators will pay subsidies based on the data efficiency of a software platform, favouring BlackBerry over iOS and Android.
- Chrome OS becomes a “problem child” for Google
- MeeGo’s early successes will not come from mobile phones.
- Oracle and IBM are the last ones standing, going head-to-head after enterprise software partners and/or acquisitions.
- Microsoft needs an inspiring visionary or a tactical general. Steve Ballmer should go.
- Smaller vendors with specialized expertise that deliver value to customers continue to thrive.
- Google needs to actually finish products and not just gravitate to the next big thing.
- HP needs to get beyond boardroom scuffles and define itself in the modern software world.
- SAP will shrink as companies now have credible alternatives (Oracle, NetSuite, and others).
- Politicians are out of touch with the realities of IT. The cloud enables white-collar workers to work anywhere, allowing smart companies to seek locales with low taxes and overhead.
- No more social networking nonsense, as organizations move employees away from social sites at work.
- The cloud changes everything – still. Companies large and small are taking advantage of the economic and environmental advantages of developing and computing in the cloud.
- AT&T provides a valuable lesson on how a lack of customer service and inability to address service issues can cause customers to band together through the Internet with a powerful and collective voice
- The outsourcing industry will see the first Cowboy and Indian mega-merger
- BPO uptake will creep back throughout 2011, as the recovery stutters and buyers pull the trigger on sourcing initiatives, however, many of the deals for the first-time buyer will be small in scope
- IT Outsourcing will have a banner year as market peaks, however growth will tail-off towards year-end as wage-arbitrage begins to become saturated
- Service integration becomes the new fad, replacing innovation as the buzzword of the day
- Service providers will start to break out of vertical silos to help their clients collaborate
- Integrated offerings from service providers with broad capability gain market share. Distinction between BPO and ITO blurs
- Many CIOs will thrive or fail because of Cloud demand from their business function leaders
- Successful advisors shift their business models to be “lighter” or more full featured
- Onshore and nearshore alternatives hit the mainstream
- HfS Research will achieve world-domination
- Continued economic uncertainty; the global economy is the major issue for business in 2011, austerity measures in Europe impacting public sector key account business and confidence in general
- Cloud printing (or a similar term) to become the next big thing in the printing industry – we’re going to start moving beyond MPS and the hubbub around MPS – companies will begin to realise that the underlying theme is the mobility of the knowledge worker and that business processes, of which the majority still involve paper somewhere along the line, will need to adapt, evolve and maybe be totally reinvented for the next computing age
- Greater range of iPad competitor products will slowly begin to erode printed pages further – screen reading at the outset and moving more towards video consumption of content longer term
- The cloud will burst – initial attempts by many companies to adopt cloud will show some of the issues – latency, service levels, lack of predictability will all make organisations wonder if cloud is all it has been built up to be. There will then be a strong drive for an agreed means of standardising technical contracts on the fly and for monitoring and managing performance across private, and to a lesser extent, public clouds. This does not bring cloud down – it just slows it down while the reality sets in and expectations are reset.
- Consolidation continues. The changing nature of IT continues to stress large and small IT vendors, and acquisitions continue for those with deep pockets, mergers for those in trouble, and failure for some. Even large companies can fail (see Novell for this year’s big one). The focus will have to be on agility and flexibility – not massive, semi-monolithic applications.
- The IT department struggles. Old-style outsourcing where IT departments found themselves in fear of having their employer change under them, or in possibly losing their job, becomes new-style outsourcing, looking to utilise functions from the cloud. Jobs will just be lost – the cloud takes over the complete function, and the new IT department has to be able to act as the translator between what the business needs and where those functions are best served from. This is not a grease-monkey technical job – it is a business/technical architect job, and many IT people will suffer in the fall out. However, the cloudburst mentioned above will give some succour – when cloud is seen as a failure, the functions will have to be pulled back in again, and the hyper-techie will have their part to play again. Unfortunately, this will be short lived, and many organisations will not have the capability to deal with the “boom and bust” movement from in-house data centre to hybrid cloud and back again in a manner that enables the business to survive.
- Sustainability is back on the agenda. Not because big business wants to save the world – but because governments need to raise money. Green is the new tax – governments will be finding ways to screw as much out of businesses as they possibly can through as many means as possible, and taxing what will be defined as profligate use of energy is a great way of bringing in money. IT will be a focus again – but the clever IT department will move the focus to how IT can help the overall organisation to better manage its overall energy footprint – not just focusing on how the data centre can cut back on its energy use by 5-10%.
- Thin-client computing (by any name) becomes far more mainstream. Any company that does this for cost purposes or for energy saving purposes deserves everything that happens to them. However, to enable a better control and information security environment, to better support mobile workers and to ensure better overall security across a mixed estate of company and personal access devices, centralising the desktop in a data centre will be seen as making more and more sense.
- Consumerisation overtakes the business. Any business now trying to turn back the tide of employees wanting their own devices to be supported will lose. Devices ranging from the enterprise-focused, such as RIM Blackberries, through avowedly consumer focused iPad and the newer Android/PalmOS/Windows 7 slates, tablets and other form factor systems will no longer be centrally sourced by the organisation, but will be expensed by the employee. These systems will have to be accepted and managed by IT – even if “managing” them means just providing a sandboxed environment for the corporate desktop to run in.
- Social networking continues to confuse, bemuse and amuse. Facebook continues its world domination, Twitter fades somewhat as people begin to see its limitations. MySpace probably fades to a greater extent. FourSquare makes some inroads for a while – but is not a long term bet. Organisations continue to struggle in figuring out just exactly how to play the social networking field. Employees continue to place inappropriate comments that hit headlines and embarrass businesses, resulting in knee-jerk reactions that end up in court for dealing with employee grievances.
- The iPhone 5 gets announced on April 1st. It will have a 24MP camera with a 3MP secondary one. It will have a 3D screen, which, using the Retina capability and special glasses, will give the appearance of an IMAX experience while you are sat on the underground. It will make a leap to 6 TB memory – just enough for your average 14 year old to store all their MP3 and JPEG files. It will not be compatible with Flash – or with the Microsoft Kinect controller. Steve Jobs is also rumoured to be talking to telecoms companies about making sure that the iPhone5 will not be able to interoperate with any device on the same network that runs Microsoft Windows Phone 7. According to his Fanboys, this is a necessary step to stop the evil dictatorship of Ballmer from placing the world under the shackles of a closed operating system with little support for external capabilities and with little overall usage due to short battery life. After all, that is Steve’s job.
- Nokia will have to deliver with MeeGo if it doesn’t want to be written off in the smartphone innovation race. Their current strategy will have to translate into financial gains or face a reboot by 2012.
- Android will keep growing and outselling iPhone although the comparison will remain irrelevant (and mildly irritating). Android will speed up the democratisation and commoditisation of a significant share of the smartphone market. Some hardware manufacturers relying too much on Android will suffer from this. Poor quality handsets and fragmentation will hurt the Android brand. Unofficial, unsupported and sub-par Android variants will creep up and there is very little that Google will be able to do about it. Tablets will only make it worse.
- Out of the two Korean giants, Samsung will have a much better 2011 than LG, mobile-wise.
- Growth year for Apple, with emphasis on multi-touch and evolutionary improvements across the board: Apps on Apple TV, CDMA iPhone, iPad 2. 2011 should offer a rather weak competition for iPad. iPod should decline significantly but Apple will keep milking the (mostly unchallenged) cow until its last breath.
- I still do not see the brands ‘Playstation’ and ‘Sony Ericsson’ coexist on the upcoming gaming-oriented handset. A new sub-brand would be wiser.
- RIM will have a hard time sustaining their growth rate.
- Mobile payment should be the hot topic in many countries, with many stakeholders likely to move aggressively. One more area in which Nokia had a head start that might ultimately prove useless.
- Big tickets M&A are most likely to involve companies such as Microsoft, Nokia and RIM.
- Skype is a prime acquisition candidate.
- Google and Apple are likely to stick with their current strategy of incremental smaller-scale IP/talent acquisitions.
- Potential let downs: Google TV, Chrome OS and BlackBerry Playbook will all be tough sells.
- Certain let downs: augmented reality, location-based gaming.
- And The Empowered Shall Lead Us. In Forrester’s new book Empowered, we profile a new type of IT leader, and they don’t work for you. They work for the business, not I&O, and are leveraging technologies at the edge of the business to change relationships, improve customer support, design new products, and deliver value in ways you could not have foreseen. And, despite your “better judgment” you need to help them do this. Your frontline employees are the ones who see the change in the market first and are best positioned to guide the business on how to adjust. They can turn — and are turning — to cloud services to make this change happen but don’t always know how to leverage it best. This is where you must engage.
- You will build a private cloud, and it will fail. And this is a good thing. Because through this failure you will learn what it really takes to operate a cloud environment. Knowing this, your strategy should be to fail fast and fail quietly. Don’t take on a highly visible or wildly ambitious cloud effort. Start small, learn, iterate, and then expand
- Hosted private clouds will outnumber internal clouds 3:1. The top reason empowered employees go to public cloud services is speed. They can gain access to these services in minutes. Private clouds must meet this demand and not once, but consistently. That means standardized procedures executed by automation software, not hero VMware administrators. And most enterprises aren’t ready to pass the baton. But service providers will be ready in 2011. This is your fast path to private cloud, so take it.
- Community clouds will arrive, thank to compliance. The biotech field is already heading this direction. Federal government I&O teams are piloting them. And security and compliance will bring them together. Why struggle alone adapting your processes to meet FDA requirements when everyone else in your industry is doing the same? Cmed Technology is onto something here.
- Workstation applications will bring HPC to the masses. Autodesk’s Project Cumulus and the ISVs lining up behind GreenButton are showing the way, and they’ll do it because it expands — not threatens — their market. Both these companies have figured out how to put a cloud behind applications and in so doing deliver game-changing productivity: the kind of performance that can potentially match traditional grid computing but with nearly no effort by the customer. These moves leverage cloud economics and may disrupt supercomputing.
- Cloud economics gets switched on. Being cheap is good. We all know the basic of cloud economics — pay only for what you use — but the mechanism isn’t the lesson; it’s just the tool. Cloud economics 101 is matching elastic applications to cloud platforms and moving transient apps in and out so their costs are constantly returning to zero. Cloud economics 201 is designing and optimizing applications to take greatest advantage. Cloud economics 301 is knowing when and which cloud to use for maximum profitability. Look to early efforts such as Amazon Web Services’ Spot Instances andEnomaly’s SpotCloud to show the way here and the Cloud Price Calculator to help you normalize costs. As cloud segments such as IaaS commoditize, tools that let you play the market will grow in importance.
- The BI gap will widen. If business intelligence to you means a secure data warehouse, you will quickly learn which side of this gap you are on. Cloud technologies such as AWS’ Elastic Map Reduce, 1010Data, and BI unification will deliver real-time intelligence and cross-system insights that help businesses skate to where the puck is going and see — and make — the market shift before their competitors.
- Information is power and a new profit center. Not only will cloud computing help leading enterprises gain greater insight from their information, it will help them derive revenue from it too. Services such as Windows Azure DataMarket will help enterprises leverage data sources more easily and become one of those providers themselves. The Associated Press, Dun & Bradstreet, and ESRI are the model. Are you the next great provider? What value data are you keeping locked up in your vault?
- Cloud standards still won’t be here — get over it. Despite promising efforts by the DMTF, NIST, and the Cloud Security Alliance, this market will still be too immature for standardization. But that won’t mean a lack of progress in 2011. Expect draft specifications and even a possible ratification or two next year, but adoption of the standard will remain years off. Don’t let that hold you back from using cloud technologies, though, as most are built on the backs of prior standards efforts. Existing security, Web services, networking, and protocol standards are all in use by clouds. And cloud management tools are doing their best to abstract the difference from cloud to cloud.
- Cloud security will be proven but not by the providers alone. Because cloud security isn’t their responsibility —it’s shared. The cloud-leading enterprises get this, and we have already seen HIPAA, PCI, and other compliance standards met in the cloud. The cloud providers are certainly doing their part as evidenced by AWS’s recent ISO 27001 certification. The best practices for doing this will spread in 2011, but we should all remember that you shouldn’t hold off on cloud computing until you solve these high-bar security challenges. Get started with applications that are easier to protect.
- HSPA/+ and smartphones for data – Really, the big story in 2011 is going to be “more of the same”. More smartphones at both low and high ends, more dongles, and slow but certain growth in new device categories. Despite the fervour over LTE, it’s going to be the growing maturity of “normal” 3.5G which is going to be driving the industry, if not the headlines.
- Evolved policy management – Linked to the growth of mobile data, and the shifting revenue/cost equations of mobile broadband networks, Disruptive Analysis expects to see a continued intense focus on traffic and policy management solutions.
- Own-brand operator OTT services: This is going to be the big surprise of 2011. I’ve been talking about access-independent services for some time, but it’s still been a taboo among many operators. The idea of Operator #1 launching services targetting Operator #2 and #3’s access customers has sat very uneasily with the clubby, collaborative, “we’re all in this together against Google and Facebook” interoperability mentality of the telcos.
- Femtocells – Various people have been asking me if 2010 was the “year of the femto”, which I’ve been hesitant to agree to, as I see market evolution more as a steady progression. Nevertheless, the femto concept has been hugely validated by a number of high-profile launches, and we are likely to see continued growth in 2011.
- LTE for data – Although HSPA will continue to go from strength to strength, there is a groundswell of both optimism and activity on LTE. Not only that, but a stream of spectrum auctions – especially 800MHz digital dividens – is coming through, which will almost inevitably be used for LTE deployment.
- Tablets – I’ve been somewhat surprised by the iPad’s success, but I still don’t see tablets as a major game-changing trend, beyond the “Apple Effect”. I still think that the iPad is primarily a nice (and for some groups of people also very useful) gadget which complements their PC/Mac and smartphone usage.
- Two-sided operator business models – I spend a lot of my time examining realistic ways that operators might monetise “non-user” sources of revenue. At the moment, I’m seeing something of a mixed bag. Certain niches such as M2M are showing signs of growth.
- NFC – I’ve been a long-term critic of NFC, especially for mobile payments. The noise around the technology has risen to a crescendo recently, with Orange launching a major initiatives in 2011, and a three-way project by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.
- LTE for voice – Despite talks of trials of VoLTE, Disruptive Analysis does not expect to see successful massmarket voice services launched on LTE for several years, with the possible exception of NTT DoCoMo.
Next year’s biggest turkeys:
IMS RCS. ‘Nuff said.
- Any new operator-specified handset OS.
- Federated operator-run cloud services (although single-operator clouds have good potential). Likely to get hyped as a triumph for interoperability, and therefore the best candidate for a new losers’ coalition.
- Subscription-based Mobile TV (as always). Yes, there’s a handful of iPad video addicts. And yes Japan uses terrestrial TV-to-the-phone. But massmarket TV on massmarket phones? No, just as unlikely as in 2006 when it was last hyped.
- It’s about time for the FourSquare-style “check in” model to implode under its own preposteroussness. The only good thing about FourSquare & peers is that it’s a great way to know where not to go, if you want to avoid meeting dull social-media people.
- Paid apps for Android, Symbian and BlackBerry. There’s a strong correlation between a willingness to spend $$$ on apps and willingness to give Steve Jobs $300 gross margin per device. Everyone else counts their pennies & will go for cheap/free wherever possible.
- Operator-run appstores or app-malls. Might work out in certain contexts, but I can’t see them worrying Apple.
- Large-scale M2M. I’m still unconvinced that a zillion sensors and fridges are going to get networked up. And if they do, they also guarantee that GSM/GPRS will be around for the next 30 years, and we won’t be refarming much 2G spectrum any time soon.
- New variations of the SIM card (eg OTA IMSI-updating, multi-IMSI, wholesale & switching etc)
- Augmented reality
- Whether Nokia can stage a return to its glory days with MeeGo
- Will a major Internet / IT company buy into cellular, either via acquisition or as an MVNO
- Satellite-based mobility
- Asked the classic question, I’d go long on Microsoft and short on Google. I think Microsoft now has a really good set of Cloud offerings and, in the enterprise in particular, would be the preferred partner. Conversely I still think that Google has a scattergun approach to everything outside of its core sponsored search market.
- Social Technologies really are going to be huge and will affect every part of our lives and every company to which we inter-relate. What others recommend, the reviews we read, what our friends do, what special discounts small groups are offered etc. will become common place. Advertising revenues will move away from the masses to the targeted. Given that Facebook leads in the application of social technologies, they have huge potential to lead in its commercial exploitation . I see Facebook becoming a vast retailing emporium the likes of which we have never witnessed before. The prospect of Facebook rivalling Microsoft’s $250b valuation in a couple of years does not seem outrageous to me.
- The nerds of the world rail about ‘closed gardens’ but the great consuming public largely doesn’t give a damn. Having spent the last 4-5 years being regaled by people saying that the two most important ‘closed gardens’ – both Facebook and Apple – are ‘passing fads’ and me saying ‘they aren’t’, both you and me might be getting weary of me being consistently right (and therefore smug) on the issue. I know I’ll get the usual crop of “sell Apple now before it’s too late’ emails, but I’m keeping hold of the Apple stock I bought in 2004 for $10 (they are now $325) for at least another year!
- Last year I branded 2010 ‘The Year of the Tablet’ so I can’t repeat that for 2011+. I have no doubt that the tablet as a form factor will be even bigger than even I had expected. Netbooks will be the main loser in the race. Clearly Apple can’t have the market to itself for ever, but I do expect new wondrous iPad enhancements in 2011. Does anyone want to buy my iPad V1 in Apr? Because I don’t think I will be able to resist V2 and everyone in the Holway family who would have expected a ‘hand-me-down’ already has one!
- Back in SITSland, out forecasts for the UK market have been made and I have nothing to add to them. If you are a ‘generalist’ SITS company with high exposure to the public sector, you are having and will continue to have a tough time. Sure, some aspects of the private sector SITS market are growing but that will not compensate.
- However, I do see 2011 as being a year of continued – indeed increased – SITS/IT M&A activity. I see many of the ‘just below the top tier’ players – starting with CSC – being likely consolidation or ‘take private’ candidates. It’s really not to hard to predict this. Afterall, SITS (and IT) is following exactly the same path as the automobile sector when it hit its deflationary period. That sector went from 3000+ independent players globally to half a dozen global mega companies in 20-30 years. We are already 10 years into IT’s deflationary period, and I see the same end result. It will be very interesting to see how the Indians play that game.
- To continue the automobile analogy, there will still be great opportunities for the smaller niche players. I’ve always said I’d rather run Porsche than General Motors! I guess I’d now rather run Mike Tobin’s TeleCity than HP. ‘Diversity of Performance’ has been one of themes throughout the last decade and I’m sure will last for the next decade too. Weak economic conditions (which can now only improve), coupled with fast change in the way technology is used, always create wonderful opportunities for new, young, fast growing companies. Having now been in tech for 45 years, I can’t think there has ever been a better time to start a new venture.
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Tags: analyst relations, CCS Insight, Enterprise Irregulars, Forrester, Gartner, HfS, IHS Screen Digest, Infotrends, Nucleus Research, Ovum, Quocirca, technology predictions