Decree: Cloud, Analytics & Security Will Dominate 2015


Well, it’s that time of year again, folks. No, I don’t mean the Holiday Season. And no, I don’t mean the Consumer Confidence Season. I mean the Trend List Season. Every year, experts stick out their necks from every hill and dell to let us know that the industry is changing. The lists are often a little redundant, both of the concurrent offerings and of all the trend lists written the year before.

However, these mini-reports on the industry are actually incredibly helpful. They at least encompass the major, developing points of focus for the industry. Because the lists are typically created by independent parties, the blogosphere and social media have generally objective fodder for conversation.

Forbes’ Louis Columbus just wrote a piece that was published Wednesday, summarizing the Computerworld 2015 predictions from its Forecast Study 2015. Let’s look at the key findings from that report.

What’s Ahead for the Cloud Computing World

Major areas of investment for business are a trio: cloud technology, big data analytics, and security. Other essential elements of the third platform, mobile tech and social media, will continue to grow rapidly as well – although the latter does not fall under the umbrella of this study.

Most CIOs and IT directors will stay at a similar expenditure level for most categories of technology, with a comprehensive budget rise of 4.3% industrywide. Specific areas of strong growth include the following:

  • Security – 46%
  • Cloud – 42%
  • Predictive big data modeling and other analytics – 38%
  • Storage – 36%
  • Mobile/wireless – 35%.

The only notable decline in spending is hardware, with a 24% expected drop.

Although security will be the king in terms of growth, more decision-makers listed cloud projects as the top priority than any other strategy (although it only represented 16% of the total responses). For some situations, cloud doesn’t make sense. However, business-wide IT leadership believes that the affordability and speed of cloud make it the most disruptive current technology, especially in the areas of customer service and development/DevOps.

The research, conducted by IDG Enterprise (the owner of CIO, Computerworld, and several other online publications), sought to pinpoint and outline the most critical IT trends for the upcoming year, in categories such as hardware and software; hiring and management; and budget expenditures. A total of over 190 people were surveyed, composed of the following populations

  • 55% IT leadership positions
  • 19% IT middle-management
  • 16% entry-level IT professionals
  • 7% general business administration.

A complete report on the data collected in the study and the methodology with which it was designed is available here.

Other Key Findings of the Computerworld Forecast

1. Third platform growth especially in bigger companies

There is substantial disparity in terms of IT investment between enterprises with more than 1000 employees and those with less than that. As noted above, cloud, analytics, and storage are three of the primary growth areas. Here is how they compare at large enterprises versus smaller organizations:

  • Cloud – 52% of companies with 1000+ employees, 35% of those with fewer than 1000
  • Analytics (big data, etc.) – 46% with 1000+, 26% with under 1000
  • Storage – 46% with 1000+, 29% with under 1000.

2. General growth in IT budgets

A specific poll of the IT decision-makers found that generally speaking, budgets are going up:

  • 43% expect larger budgets next year
  • 45% expect an equivalent budget
  • 12% expect smaller budgets in 2015.

In terms of actual dollar amount, the typical firm is experiencing a 4.3% increase, on average, next year.

3. Emergent areas of technology

When asked for a new category of spending that was emerging at their business during the next 12 months, the top three responses were:

  • Internet of Things (32%)
  • High Performance Computing (22%)
  • Sustainability and efficiency solutions (16%), to reduce the overall carbon footprint.

4. Top business priorities of IT

Senior executives and line-of-business managers agreed and disagreed on the major business concerns of IT. Goals such as revenue enhancement, profit orientation, improvement of competitive edge, and strong customer interaction were all considered priorities, although to greater and lesser degree (suggesting communication breakdowns between leadership levels):

  • Making the most out of current technology – 48% senior/46% middle-management
  • Cutting costs – 47% senior/58% middle-management
  • Refining and automating tasks – 43% senior/46% middle-management
  • Revenue generation – 40% senior/29% middle-management.

5. Why certain technologies are used

To come at the issue of priorities from another angle, IDG asked respondents for the need that their top IT projects were intended to meet. The top priorities within the main projects in individual categories were as follows:

  • Revenue generation – top goal of cloud computing, business analytics, and software development
  • Better service – top goal of on-site software, virtualization environments, and as an overall concern.

The biggest projects for companies were most commonly in the following categories:

  • Cloud – 16%
  • Legacy upgrades/optimization – 12%
  • On-site software – 9%.

Cloud Not Created the Same

Since cloud is obviously one of the major points of focus for businesses, and since it is really broader than distributed virtualization as a component of the third platform, businesses must carefully choose their partners in this area of technology. Superb Internet offers a 100% uptime SLA, guaranteeing both our resources and our performance. Chat with an expert to get the cloud hosting you need today.

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By Kent Roberts