Gartner's big predictions through 2015: A reality check

Gartner has outlined its information technology predictions for 2011 through 2015 and the most interesting items revolve around security, hiring plans and non-human social networking pals. Here's a reality check.

Gartner has outlined its information technology predictions for 2011 through 2015 and the most interesting items revolve around security, hiring plans and non-human social networking pals.

But how realistic are these predictions?

Let's go through the Gartner's crystal ball. By 2015, Gartner argues that a G20 nation will see its critical infrastructure disrupted by online sabotage. Gartner says a multimodal attack will cripple multiple systems.

My take: An online attack is a bit of a no-brainer. Our infrastructure security isn't up to snuff and an attack is likely in Gartner's time frame. New revenue will determine CIO compensation of most CIOs by 2015. IT initiatives will raise the profile of CIOs as sales grow. Gartner also floated this concept in October.

My take: Gartner's take will be legit for a few CIOs. The majority of CIOs won't be able to crawl out from their legacy infrastructure to truly drive sales---and therefore be paid on revenue growth.

"Information-smart" businesses will increase IT spending per head by 60 percent  by 2015. Gartner says:

Those IT-enabled enterprises that successfully navigated the recent recession and return to growth will benefit from many internal and external dynamics. Consolidation, optimization and cost transparency programs have made decentralized IT investments more visible, increasing "recognized" IT spending. This, combined with staff reduction and freezes, will reward the leading companies within each industry segment with an IT productivity windfall that culminates in at least a 60 percent increase in the metric for "IT spending per enterprise employee" when compared against the metrics of peer organizations and internal trending metrics.

My take: I'll believe it when I see it.

By 2015, automation will cut 25 percent of IT labor hours.

My take: A no brainer. Cloud computing and virtualization will automate many functions. Twenty percent of non-IT global 500 companies will be cloud service providers by 2015. Gartner says:

The move by non-IT organizations to provide non-IT capabilities via cloud computing will further expand the role of IT decision making outside the IT organization. This represents yet another opportunity for IT organizations to redefine their value proposition as service enablers — with either consumption or provision of cloud-based services.

My take: Business services via the cloud makes sense, but the timeline is going to take much longer than Gartner projects.

Ninety percent of organizations will support corporate apps on personal devices by 2014. My take: Companies won't have a choice on this front. The move to support personal devices could happen faster.

By 2013, 80 percent of businesses will support tablets.

My take: One look at the CIOs toting iPads gives you all you need to know.

By 2015, 10 percent of online friends will be non-human. Gartner argues that we'll friend social bots---automated software agents---that will interact with us.

My take: Scary thought, but I'm not friending some software agent and neither will you. Sounds like a malware bonanza.