10 corporate IT headaches over the next five years

10 corporate IT headaches over the next five years

Summary: Gartner's top 10 technologies that will disrupt over the next five years sound familiar. What has changed is the scale and speed of the challenges.


ORLANDO---Corporate information technology departments will face common problems over the next five years---agility, budget crunches and the need to innovate---but at a scale they just haven't had to deal with until now.

That's a high-level takeaway from a Gartner overview at its Symposium powwow.

Gartner analyst David Cappuccio ran through the research firm's top 10 technologies CIOs will have to worry about over the next five years. The trends surfaced are a followup to Gartner's earlier keynote

Here's a look the 10 issues and my take on them.


By organizational entrenchments and disruption, Gartner is referring to vendors as well as IT. One prediction is that 30 percent of companies using software as a service will switch to on-premises applications due to poor service levels by 2014. Also by 2014, market consolidation will nuke 20 percent of the top 100 IT service providers.

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As far as the IT department, service levels also matter. IT support will have to show usefulness or it'll simply go away. Customer experience will determine whether the IT department lives on and agility will matter as development times shorten.

Gartner's No. 2---software defined networks seems like a bandwagon pick in some respects. Isn't everyone since VMware's acquisition of Nicira talking software defined networks now? The argument that SDNs will impact IT is that data center operations will change along with workloads and application requirements.

The big data issue for IT has been covered repeatedly. Gartner's biggest highlight revolves around managing storage growth and getting a handle on requirements between now and 2015. The talent shortage will be painful. Gartner estimates that big data demand will generate 1 million jobs in the global 1000, but only a third of them will be filled.

For No. 4, Gartner's pitch about the hybrid data center is on target. The reality is that commodity services will go cloud, but no one is going to ditch the infrastructure they already have.

As for Gartner's client-server disruption argument it noted that 90 percent of enterprises will skip Windows 8 and client server technologies will be a grab bag. That prediction isn't much of a stretch given many companies are still going Windows 7. For more on this Windows upgrade cycle, see Ed Bott's history lesson on enterprises and Microsoft's latest OSes.

The Internet of things is a technology that I would have put higher from a business model perspective. Sensor data and smart objects affects many other areas---including big data management.

Regarding No. 7, the move to appliances as a cure-all has been well underway. What's interesting here is Gartner's argument that virtual appliances will alter the equation. Will virtual appliances render all those physical appliances (Exadata, Netezza etc.) moot?

On operational complexity, Gartner's takeaway was that employee owned devices will be compromised by malware more than double the rate of corporate-owned devices. Welcome to the BYOD headache. IT is paying for more technology than it actually uses---20 percent of features and functions in a system are used. Operational complexity will always be an issue. The fix is elusive.

For No. 9, virtual data centers will mean staff shifts and force innovation. The vertical organizations in corporate IT won't work going forward.

And finally, IT demand will be insatiable. Adding capacity won't work and corporations won't control most of the demand via apps, social networks and other things. Key issue: By 2017, 40 percent of enterprise contact information will be leaked into Facebook via mobile devices.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Big Data, Data Centers, Networking

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  • ah

    Ah, Gartner. King of vagueness and cool sounding jargon.

    1) We wanted to use more words that mean nothing.
    2) Two random tech words shoved together.
    3) Been happening since computers were invented.
    4) We need to use the word "cloud" at least once. Required by contract.
    5) Been around since the mainframe.
    6) It sounds cool, okay?
    7) Have to send you to Acronym Finder at least once.
    8) It's operational . . . and it's complex. Trust us.
    9) We'll tell you to run it on a single 486 and claim that it magically gives you the power of a large farm of i7s. It washes your dishes and irons your clothes too.
    10) We think IT is too demanding.

    Well, at least they're fun. Even if they're ultimately meaningless.

    "Welcome to the BYOD headache."

    And the reason why BYOD is a fad. I really don't think the idea will last.
    • More still - Are these trends really ? Or just things ?

      Well spotted, I agree - But to add - a trend is established by the something that has been happening in the past regularly. Some of the things mentioned are simply not trends but things many so new and, as you say, too vague in relation to our direct experiences to have little meaning. The ultimate is No. 6. "The Internet of Things" - this could mean just about anything. :(
  • Shouldn't these new technologies be making things more efficient?

    All they seem to do is to cause more and more disruption.
  • Interesting ....

    "One prediction is that 30 percent of companies using software as a service will switch to on-premises applications due to poor service levels by 2014."

    Yet they also predict that IT departments will start going away. They also mention data management will be a big problem. They also state that there will be plenty of jobs that go unfilled due to lack of skills. Not of these matches up with the quote above. It think they're just throwing darts at the dart board.

    Whenever I see some kind of prediction from Gartner I laugh and assume they'll be 90% wrong. They are really are awful at predicting trends.
    • Forgive my typos ...

      I kept getting interrupted when typing that. I was laughing too hard at Gartner's predictions.
  • What will really happen

    When companies and individuals come to realize that SaaS will cost them much more in the long run, lock them into a vendor, and subject them to downtime, slower response, hacking dangers, increased bandwidth costs, etc., they will return to a scheme that allows them to control their data and processing in house. The cloud and its associated SaaS are just money-grabbing plans being foisted upon us by software houses and service providers.

    Unfortunately, most will not recognize this until they've been burned by the cloud.

    Have a nice day,

  • How about advocating completely incompetent management?

    That's the most disruptive going.
  • IT Support...???

    Oh, yeah, BYOD folks are really going to love figuring out why THEIR equipment no longer functions as desired. I don't see "IT Support" going away anytime soon...
  • IT is breaking up, back into the 5 groups.

    Essentially, the Computer Services group will have to be resurrected after being killed off by the Telecomm suits during the mergers that created IT. Yep, small, flexible, helpful, hands-on. Computer Services is the way of the future, NOT the IT mishmash of overspending and bureaucracy that the Telecomm (Telephone) guys set up.
    Tony Burzio