The bring your own device (BYOD) movement is going to strain corporate technology and finance departments as enterprises struggle to manage mobile. Meanwhile, hybrid cloud approaches are going to be hyped and get ready for software defined everything.
Those takeaways were included in Gartner's top 10 strategic technology trends for 2014. Not surprisingly, mobile, cloud with multiple plays on big data were front and center for companies. Here's the breakdown.
- Mobile device management. By 2018, the size of the mobile workforce will double or triple. Companies are going to have to set policies and architecture to keep data safe. In other words, BYOD may become a BPITB (big pain in the butt).
- Software defined everything. You've heard of software defined networking. And software defined data centers. Now get ready for software-defined everything. Vendors will beat this term to death because they are all trying to defend their turf while growing via adjacent markets. Here's the catch: Vendors aren't likely to support standards that in practice will take their core businesses away.
- Smart machines will take your job. And companies need to prepare for their digital workforces. By 2020, learning machines will be the norm. Cearley noted that the smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT. That reality — and the jobs that smart machines will take — will have wide implications.
- The Internet of everything. Gartner has been pitching the Internet of things as something that will revolutionize business models, but analyst David Cearley said companies need to manage social, people and places too. "If it makes sense commercially, socially and personally it makes sense to bring all of that data together," he said.
- Hybrid cloud chatter escalates. "The cloud is the most hyped term out there and when you put hybrid in front of it, the hype goes up by an order of magnitude," said Cearley. CIOs will have to figure out how to manage their own infrastructure as well as cloud vendors. Enterprises will need to be cloud service brokers tool. Meanwhile, the definition of hybrid cloud will be a moving target. Vendors will call a hybrid cloud a server and the infrastructure you know in the data center. The one thing everyone wants: Virtual machines that can turn into Amazon Web Services AMIs will slowly happen, but vendors will drag their feet.
- Cloud and client architectures will shift. Mobile applications will stress infrastructure and network and become the de facto desktop software of yesteryear.
- Personal clouds will dominate. Employees and consumers will have multiple devices and personal cloud services will become the new PC as a hub for content.
- Enterprise data centers will try and mimic the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google as they try to go Web scale. Data centers will need industrial designs that cut waste at every point. My take: Companies aren't going to figure out how to run a data center as well as Facebook and Google. Go cloud and save the headache.
- 3D printing. The nascent market for 3D printing is going to grow quickly. As noted on Monday, there are supply chain, design and intellectual property issues to ponder.