Business analytics as a service and consulting on machine to machine (M2M) implementations are just two of the predictions IDC Australia has tipped as sure bets in 2013.
Speaking at an IDC Predictions briefing in Sydney this week, IDC Australia head of research Matt Oostveen walked delegates through the analyst firm's top 10 predictions for 2013, starting with business analytics as a service.
"We're starting to see some examples of this in the market where there are service-as-an offering for big data and analytics specifically designed for the SMB community," he said.
"We will start to see some traction towards the second half of 2013 based upon the fact that it is very expensive to be implementing these technologies within an environment."
According to Oostveen, business analytics is expensive to implement because businesses need the underlying infrastructure, software, applications and skill sets. However, service delivery models will give SMBs the option of cutting these capital expenses.
According to IDC Australia, omni-channel retailing will drive growth in ICT spending from social, local and mobile applications.
"We see this being beneficial for the retail industry on two fronts," he said.
"If you're a bricks and mortar retailer, you are able to deploy these technologies for geolocation ads used in loyalty programs."
For online retailers who want to get the attention of a shopper that is walking around physical presences, he said that these retailers could use a price comparison smartphone app to try and lure people away from the showroom floor and onto the online marketplace.
ICT skills shortage
According to IDC, the skills shortage in Australia is leading to growth in automation and virtualization as part of infrastructure services.
"The reality is that the cost of labour in Australia is very high and this is causing a ripple effect within the IT ecosystem," Oostveen said.
"The skill sets are being drawn out of traditional IT and put into building out cloud systems. Skills are required on a technology and infrastructure front to be able to build cloud services and it requires a generous amount of resources to be able to do that."
During 2013, on-premises computing will catch a "second wind" with converged systems.
He said that applications and workloads are moving to an off-premise environment due to outsourcing and managed services contracts.
"However, it's fair to say that not everything will move to the cloud and we are going to keep some workloads and apps on-premise," Oostveen said.
According to IDC Australia, two thirds of on-premise computing will be a form of converged system next year. These come in three types: converged infrastructure, platform and certified systems.
"The reason we are seeing strong premise of this in on-premises computing is because of velocity. Deployment time of these machines into the marketplace is very quick." Machine to machine
IDC is also predicting that machine to machine (M2) will present itself as a growth opportunity for mobile operators
"In 2013 we expect to see a stronger uptake of M2M technology in the marketplace. From an IT perspective, that means a lot of opportunity around a number of different sectors including consulting associated with integrating these technologies with back-end systems," he said.
CFO involvement with IT purchasing
Given CFOs' interest in cutting costs, IDC also says that more than half of ICT purchasing decisions will involve a line of business executive.
"IT executives should expect to be selling more to non-traditional customers and selling beyond the IT department," he said.
"This raises a very important question- can you talk to the CFO and marketing department? "
According to Oostveen, there are only a "handful" of organisations in Australian that can have a conversation across the company from the ICT department to the board.
"Shaking hands with as many different functions in the organisation is going to be critical for business growth in 2013 and beyond."
Corporatisation of the consumer
Rather than thinking about the consumerization of IT, Oostveen suggested that CIOs need to look at the corporatisation of the consumer.
"Consumers still want to be able to bring their own devices into work but at the same time they still want to access apps and data," he said.
"That is something that enterprise IT does very well so how do you mix these together?
He predicts that organisations should expect to see more BYOD and mobility policy implementations in 2013.
Mobile device management
Turning to security, IDC is forecasting that mobile device management (MDM) technology will disappear and IT managers will be forced to reconsider perimeter-based security.
"This is reflection of the move towards mobility and that we have a lot of mobile handsets and media tablets coming into our environments," he said.
"The question needs to be asked how IT executives manage that and view security through a wall that is much more porous than in the past."
Turning to the last prediction, IDC says that unified communications (UC) and collaboration will extend to enterprise social networks.
"This is the combination of two big driving forces in the marketplace, communications and communicating, tying in with social networks," Oostveen said.
"This is going to change the way we reach out and interconnect with one another moving forward."
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