If you want to know what technologies are rocking IT's foundations, look no further than cloud, Big Data and smart phones. Here's IDC's latest predictions (IDC and the ECF are both part of International Data Group):
- More than one billion smart phones will be sold or twice as many as two years ago. That number is forecast to hit 1.7 billion by 2017.
- Big Data technology and services are growing 7x the rate of overall IT market and will hit $23.8 billion by 2016.
- Spending on the public cloud (does not include converged or private clouds) will reach $47.4 billion in 2013 and $107 billion by 2017. Again, that's just public clouds.
A lot of these clouds and smart phones will be used in enterprises. There's no playbook about how CIOs should respond to such massive shifts in how companies and employees work and where. Take heart, you are not alone. All companies have to figure how to leverage these technologies and trends. And it's not just CIOs any more....the consumerization of IT has opened technology decisions up to the working masses and others in the C suite.
Just like enterprises did with PC software, perhaps they should create and maintain an approved list of public clouds and what apps can be safely and efficiently hosted in them. There's no fighting them. Public clouds will be everywhere including enterprises. One study says they are "broad and rampant" already.
The market I am most skeptical about is Big Data because it is the least understood, to wit my post and borrowed headline "Everybody is doing it (Big Data), No one knows why."
Isn't Big Data what analytics and business intelligence has become? I'd argue yes. Enterprises are trying to figure out what, if anything, is valuable in the vastness of new unstructured data created every second.
Do you remember how the legal profession said e-mail should not be kept more than three months, lest it could come back and bite you? Well now, I guess we're supposed to keep it forever lest we be discarding a potential asset.
Many huge forecasts like these have not always become reality. About 25 years ago, the Unix market was supposed be many billions of dollars, but it did not happen. Recession, war, government shut-downs, natural disasters and simple miscalculations can all greatly alter such forecasts.
Do you react to such of forecasts with a) an eyeroll, b) dread/panic, 3) diberate analysis, 4) not at all? 5) All of the aforementioned.