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 on Thursday.
Speaking at a briefing in Singapore 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".
SMEs are typically adopters of consumer technology, as opposed to 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 concerns the device of choice for mobile workers. Gartner predicted that, by 2012, half of mobile employees will ditch their notebooks in favour of more powerful and compact devices, such as smartphones.
Today's smartphones, however, are still unable to meet the requirements of office users for effective remote working, noted Gutberlet, although, increasingly, these devices are becoming more sophisticated.
Gartner's 10 predictions for 2008 are:
- By 2010, end users' preferences will decide as much as half of all IT-buying decisions, including hardware, software and services
- By 2012, 50 percent of mobile workers will leave their notebooks at home in favour of other devices
- By 2012, at least one-third of spending on business software will go toward subscription-based services instead of a product licence
- By 2011, early technology adopters will forgo capital expenditures and purchase 40 percent of their IT infrastructure as a service
- By 2012, 80 percent or more of all commercial software will include elements of open-source technology
- By 2010, 75 percent of organisations will use full life-cycle energy and carbon footprint as mandatory PC hardware-buying criteria
- By 2009, more than one-third of IT organisations will have one or more environmental criteria in their top six buying criteria for IT-related goods and services
- By 2011, suppliers to large global enterprises will need to prove their green credentials via an audited process to retain preferred-supplier status
- Until 2011, the number of 3D printers in homes and businesses will grow 100-fold over 2006 levels
- By 2011, Apple will double its US and Western Europe unit market share