SINGAPORE--Within two years, the brand and model of the enterprise laptop could be decided by the user, not the IT department.
End users' preferences will account for up to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions relating to hardware, software and services within the enterprise, Martin Gutberlet, research vice president at Gartner, said Thursday.
Speaking at a briefing here to unveil Gartner's top 10 predictions for 2008, Gutberlet pointed out that there are greater demands for consumer-type technologies from increasingly tech-savvy generations of workers. Companies need to keep up with these demands or risk losing their best young talent.
Businesses, said Gutberlet, need to administer the right policies, but instead of building up a policy to deny or block access to applications and services, they need one that looks at "managing the consumer-type applications and technology in a secure fashion".
The prediction is especially true in Asia where there is high concentration of small and midsize businesses (SMBs), Gutberlet told ZDNet Asia. SMBs are typically adopters of consumer technology, compared with multinational corporations and large businesses which rely on enterprise software.
This is particularly so in emerging markets such as India, where there is a high concentration of "one-man businesses", explained Gutberlet. "They are very open to trying out new technology," he said.
Another upcoming change expected in the enterprise is the device of choice for mobile workers. Gartner predicts that by 2012, half of mobile employees will ditch their notebooks in favor of more powerful and compact devices such as smartphones.
Today's smartphones, however, are still unable to meet the requirements office users need to work effectively remotely, noted Gutberlet, although increasingly these devices are becoming more sophisticated.
Gartner's 10 predictions for 2008 are:
1. By 2010, end users' preferences will decide as much as half of all IT--hardware, software and services--buying decisions.
2. By 2012, 50 percent of mobile workers will leave their notebooks at home in favor of other devices.
3. By 2012, at least one-third of spending on business software will go toward subscription-based services instead of a product license.
4. By 2011, early technology adopters will forgo capital expenditures and purchase 40 percent of their IT infrastructure as a service.
5. By 2012, 80 percent or more of all commercial software will include elements of open source technology.
6. By 2010, 75 percent of organizations will use full lifecycle energy and carbon footprint as mandatory PC hardware-buying criteria.
7. By 2009, more than one-third of IT organizations will have one or more environmental criteria in their top six buying criteria for IT-related goods and services.
8. By 2011, suppliers to large global enterprises will need to prove their green credentials via an audited process to retain preferred-supplier status.
9. Through 2011, the number of 3D printers in homes and business will grow 100-fold over 2006 levels.
10. By 2011, Apple will double its U.S. and Western Europe unit market share.