Each year it sees like business processes, even for the smallest of enterprises, become more deeply enmeshed with technology. Here are three trends you’ll want to stay on top of this year.
1. Devices. Technology research firm Gartner predicts worldwide spending on devices—including PCs, smartphones, tablets and printers—will jump 6.3 percent to $66 billion in 2013, after only growing 2.9 percent last year. That’s especially significant since Gartner also points out the prices of devices like tablets are falling fast—it means people are going to be buying a whole lot of them. Smartphones are also on the cusp of overtaking PCs as the way most people get online. Questions about bring-your-own-device policies, company-owned computers and tablets, and accessibility of work systems from phones and tablets are bound to grow, and IT management companies will need to have answers.
2. The Cloud. Gartner also says the global market for public cloud services rose 20 percent in 2012 to $109 billion and it will grow to $206.6 billion in 2016. In particular, this looks like the moment for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), the type of cloud service that allows companies the maximum flexibility in designing their own systems on remote servers. IaaS will grow from faster than other sorts of cloud computing in coming years, according to Gartner. Migrating data and infrastructure to the cloud is going to be big business for IT service firms.
3. Big Data. This one is bound to be on trend lists for many years to come, but 2013 will surely see increasing focus on the management of the ever-growing mounds of information piling up on corporate servers. Already, major IT companies have whole divisions devoted to figuring out how to make sense of reams of customer transactions, social media interactions and security camera footage. These ideas are bound to trickle down and become something that businesses and IT firms of every size find themselves considering.