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Gartner symposium highlights the nexus of cloud, big data, social and mobile

October 23rd, 2012 by Lloyd Gofton

This week you’re likely to see quite a few future-gazing tech stories coming out of the Gartner Symposium IT Expo, which runs October 21st – 25th in Orlando, Florida.

Of the stories I’ve seen coming out of the Expo so far, Gartner analyst David Cappuccio‘s presentation seems to be generating the most useful conversation.

On Monday, he presented the 10 critical trends and technologies impacting IT for the next five years, as reported in a number of titles, including Forbes.

To kick-off the presentation, David highlighted a number of statistics that reflect the current complexity and size of the technology market, confirming: “In the last minute, there were 204 million emails sent, 61,000 hours of music listened to on Pandora, 20 million photo views and 3 million uploads to Flickr, 100,000 tweets, 6 million view and 277,000 Facebook logins and 2 million plus Google searches.

He then stated the focus of much of the discussion around the show will be on the “nexus” of cloud, big data, social and mobile, which was then backed up by his suggestions on the 10 critical trends that we will see over the coming years:

  1. Organisational entrenchment and disruption
  2. Software-defined networks
  3. Bigger data and storage
  4. Hybrid cloud services
  5. Client and server architectures
  6. Internet of things
  7. IT appliance madness
  8. Operational complexity
  9. Virtual data centres
  10. IT demand

Cappuccio added further insight by suggesting that before 2014, 30% of organisations using SaaS (or Software as a Service) will revert back to on-premise software due to poor service levels.

He highlighted low levels of customer service and BYOD demand (i.e. accessing SaaS from a range of devices leading to customer service being swamped and ineffective) as the key reasons for this trend.

Big data issues, which were flagged earlier this week by Oracle’s president will also uncover a shortage in talent according to Cappuccio. He suggests that by 2015, big data demand will generate 1 million jobs in the Global 1000, but only a third will get filled due to a shortage of talent.

He also went onto highlight the importance of Hybrid Cloud services, which are composed of services from multiple providers and a combination of private and public clouds.

Gartner believes private clouds improve agility and will dominate, as people look to the cloud as a way to accelerate business growth, particularly mobile apps. As a result, it is Gartner’s suggestion that we could end up with hybrid environments with dozens of specialty providers.

Cappuccio believes the focus has to be on increasing capability and/or capacity: “hybrid data centres will be in your future.” You can move non-critical work to the cloud to free up space, and the result can be incremental operating expense growth, but long-term capital spending deferral.

From a digital perspective, this window into the future is interesting as it backs up the move to cloud and mobile and highlights the importance of social, or as Cappuccio said, the “nexus” of cloud, big data, social and mobile.

Of course this flexibility in both access to data, and usage of disparate hardware places more pressure on the infrastructure both technically and from a human perspective. Although more choice offers better access to individuals, it creates more complexity and data from the business side.

We are likely to see more data and capacity issues, and related stories, as the existing infrastructure struggles to keep pace with the speed of development in these essential areas.

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