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The news for 2014 will be the further acceptance and adoption—rather than backlash and rejection—of the major technologies so vigorously hyped in 2013. Cloud, big data, mobile, social and consumerization were front and center for discussions of IT in the enterprise at the year’s close. The curators of Gigaom Research’s technology-specific analyst blogs recently offered their predictions for 2014, and they generally see further fundamental change, realism, and mainstream adoption underlying the trends in their sectors:
- Cloud computing will see more dominance from Amazon Web Services and more maturation of OpenStack for the private cloud. Cloud management platforms will find use in managing the multicloud environment that most enterprises are finding to be reality, since cloud has proven its viability and importance over the past 24 months. DevOps, PaaS, and cloud-oriented security all gain currency in this new environment.
- Mobile will continue to revolutionize shopping and the integration of the in-store and online customer experience. Mobile payments, which might be seen as a natural corollary to that trend, will, however, continue to lag due to fragmented and competing technologies and a lack of standards or broadbased market power to impose a de facto norm. Within the enterprise, Apple’s iOS will benefit from the further decline of Blackberry as a favored mobile platform.
- Social enterprise computing will play off of the BYOD trend and other advances in mobile, as a core platform for employees at work. The consumerization of enterprise IT will spawn greater autonomy for workers—in both technology and mind.
Virtualization from cloud to mobile
The integration of these dynamics from cloud applications, through the network, to a virtual, mobile desktop creates an integrated IT management approach across the enterprise. Virtualization is enabling a more agile IT grid throughout. Thus, applications are more readily updated, systems are more securely managed, vendor provisioning is more easily replaced as suppliers change—and more advanced computer power is made available to employees, customers and suppliers alike. Of course, getting to that point of simplified complexity is not easy, 2014 will only provide further steps on that route, and IT Shangri-La is never quite reached.
An Internet of things and of data, data, and data
An overarching theme across the curators’ predictions within their technology areas is the impact of new data, and data at a new scale, across the enterprise. From the Internet of things transforming energy into cleantech, to the slow adoption of wearable technology, and the use of algorithmic analyses to improve such managerial basics as hiring; big data will continue to flood the lines of enterprise and consumer computing. New capabilities and efficiencies will be borne of the newly sensed and aggregated data that will be bundled in the virtualized IT fabric that is simultaneously being woven.
In short, 2014 will bring progress in the new cloud-to-mobile IT infrastructure, and more data-driven applications will be created to leverage that infrastructure. The challenge will be to effectively update enterprise infrastructure while delivering on the right, creative applications for each enterprise and industry. Shangri-La beckons.