BANGALORE, INDIA: Sanket Akerkar, managing director, Microsoft Corp India lists out his top trends for 2013.
1. Consumerization of IT – Proliferation of devices powered by continuous cloud services.
2013 will see further ‘consumerization of IT’ and with that, a great shift with people bringing their own devices into the workplace otherwise known as the trend of ‘Bring Your Own Device’. Employees, students and consumers are all using their own devices to access managed data and applications within today’s enterprise landscape.
Expectedly, organizations must be mindful of how these devices and the data which is accessed are secured and managed. The rise of customized BYOD strategies will be a key differentiator for enterprises looking to cater for diverse types of employee – for instance some IT departments may only need to support mobile devices for specific workers whose jobs require them while the rest continue to use PCs.
2013 will see further evidence of the trend of mobile devices continuing to be at the center of all aspects of IT. By next year, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide, however rather than supersede, mobile devices will continue to live side-by-side with PC’s in an increasingly fluid network where the personal cloud replaces the notion of the personal computer.
Meeting the demand from consumers for entertainment devices which have a business purpose and enterprise customers wishing for vice-versa, 2013 will witness a rise in new convertible devices which are a cross between full-on tablet and a straight laptop. Microsoft’s Surface is a groundbreaking example: ergonomically incorporating some laptop form and functionality with an attachable keyboard and fairly advanced PC operating system with Windows RT.
2. Cloud as an integral part of business IT infrastructure
If 2012 saw the beginning of Cloud moving into the mainstream with wide deployments including Microsoft’s largest ever cloud deployment with the AICTE adopting Live@edu in April. 2013 will mark the year where clarity around the Cloud will drive bigger growth, more adoption both in terms of benefits (cost-savings and flexibility) and the definition of challenges to be addressed (Security, Management + Governance).
SaaS is rapidly becoming mainstream with SaaS adoption finally turning the corner. It provides organizations with an easy path to generate quick time value and measurable ROI. SaaS cloud benefits around lower initial acquisition costs, the ability to be up and running quickly and to scale implementations according to user demand are all factors which will drive companies to push past short-term pilots and commit to longer-term contracts.
Hybrid IT and cloud computing will also converge to drive further growth: Along with office tools, personal services, and entertainment venues, ERP platforms have risen to the cloud as well. Today, businesses have the option of situating all or part of their ERP technology in cloud-based data centers, which can offer an array of advantages over home-grown technology, including cost savings on upfront technology costs and solution maintenance, access to information anywhere on any device and increased data protection and security.
3. BI/Big Data – an emerging opportunity for businesses
2013 will see the initial excitement around Big Data / Analytics mature and give birth to the business opportunity of ‘Strategic Big Data’, marking a shift from a focus on individual projects to an influence on enterprises’ strategic information. Dealing with data volume, variety and complexity is leading organizations to abandon the concept of a single enterprise data warehouse containing all information needed for decisions.
Rather, businesses need a focus on multiple systems, including content management and data centers combined with data services and metadata, acting as an “enterprise data warehouse,” according to Gartner. Big data combined with actionable analytics open up a whole new range of possibilities for business.
4. Social media becoming more mainstream for businesses
With an increasing amount of uptake of social media by enterprises, for reasons beyond marketing, globally, IT companies have stepped up efforts to create integrated communication products that bring together the best of conventional methods such as email, and social media. Microsoft, for example, offers Yammer as an enterprise product that encourages collaborative, yet social, working environment.
The past couple of years have seen a significant number of acquisition by major firms, all indicating to the global acceptance of social media as a mainstream channel, a trend which is likely to continue through the next year. All of which point to further proof of the increase in consumer preference and behavior impacting workplace trends.
5. An enhanced focus on IPR
Software piracy continues to act as a deterrent for India IT companies to innovate to their potential and invest in local market growth. This is particularly relevant when considering how 2013 will see developers further adopt and unleash their creativity on new technologies within a largely underdeveloped IPR environment.
The work that local industry associations like NASSCOM, BSA, FICCI have undertaken with the technology industry in India to mobilize public opinion and legislation on IPR is likely to result in further traction in 2013 with added scrutiny coming in the form of a United States Trade Representative report highlighting Indian capital’s famous Nehru Place market as among the top 30 notorious IT markets of the world that deal in goods and services infringing on intellectual property rights.