Predictions for IT priorities and the cloud in 2013: Experts weigh in

Summary:As more enterprises warmed up to cloud adoption in 2012, next year we'll see some more aggressive and decisive action.

2013-calendar

Now that 2012 is all but over, let's discuss where enterprise technology and the IT agenda is headed next year. Certainly, the cloud and mobility are going to be major priorities.

But beyond just lofty theories, what can we expect specifically?

Along with checking out some predictions already circulating, I reached out to some more industry experts and executives about what some of the biggest priorities for IT will be next year.

Of course, this isn't a complete list as plans change and unexpected things happen, but here's a rundown (in no particular order):

Datacenters

Allwyn Sequeira, chief technology officer and vice president of cloud networking and security at VMware, wrote in a blog post that we should expect to see the shift towards software-defined datacenters accelerate in 2013.

"Networking and infrastructure security represent some of the stickiest issues when it comes to the drive to a more agile data center," Sequeira explained, "And because of this strong customer interest in SDDCs, you’ll also see more networking vendors and startups modify their roadmaps to steer towards a software-defined networking strategy."

Citrix told me that virtualization has already effected a change on the data center infrastructure, which is being magnified by cloud computing. Thus, the predicted result is that software networking will outpace physical networking.

Where a fairly static and stable decision tree was once the hallmark of a robust network, a dynamic network that constantly redefines traffic flows for individual users and VMs is the new requirement. The stage will be set in 2013 for SDN to become the dominant form of networking. The proliferation of routing stacks, load balancers, virtual switches and firewalls that support ever-changing traffic flows will be delivered in cloud orchestration systems, embedded deeper in hypervisors and even common operating systems.

Mobile Workforces

Kevin Gavin, chief marketing officer at ShoreTel, suggested that BYOD won't be the focus so much as something he referred to as "CYOD."

Gavin explained:

With stats indicating that employee-owned devices will be compromised by malware at more than double the rate of corporate-owned devices, it’s not surprising why some companies are resistant to the BYOD trend. With employees wanting certain devices, but IT departments holding on to control for dear life, 2013 will bring a year of compromise. The practice of giving employees the ability to “choose their own device” instead of “bring their own device” will increase; which will satisfy security issues concerning the IT department and the desire of choice for employees.

Technology research firm Gartner predicted in its 2013 special report that mobile can actually give back to businesses in more ways than we might expect, which might offset some of the naysayers worried about the infusion of mobility in the workplace.

Business intelligence and analytics leaders should understand the trends that will improve the pervasiveness of BI. Our 2013 predictions are that mobile will improve BI; multiple data sources in business dashboards will improve situational awareness; and implementations will be more service-centric.

As for the cloud, this might be the segment where we see the most dramatic changes in terms of action than ever before.

Gartner recently estimated that IT budgets will increase 3.8 percent next year, attributing a large part of that growth to cloud computing.

"2012 was the year that cloud adoption passed the point of no return for most businesses," said Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale, via email. "In 2013, we'll see businesses focus on managing all their usage effectively across multiple cloud providers, and companies big and small will take a cloud-first approach to IT."

For more predictions about cloud computing in 2013, click on to page two >>

Topics: Cloud, Data Management, IT Priorities, Mobility, Tech Industry

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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