It’s the time of year again when analysts come out in force to share their vision of the future.
Worldwide IT spending is set to total $3.8 trillion in 2015, which represents a 2.4 per cent increase from 2014, according to the latest forecast by Gartner. But a more interesting question is: How will that money be spent?
Cloud computing is no longer new, but most organisations are still figuring out how to integrate their existing systems with the cloud to do things faster, more efficiently and more cost-effectively.
While some businesses will be spending money on cloud integration, modernising legacy systems will be a big driver of investment in this area in 2015. Where software and/or hardware systems are due for a major upgrade or approaching end of life, organisations are looking to move from single-platform legacy software to multi-platform cloud-based systems.
Big data analytics
Those enterprises that are ahead of the curve will be investing heavily in analytics, data mining and business intelligence over the coming year. However, the majority of organisations are only just starting to realise the potential of analytics, and those that get it are desperately trying to catch up.
Most of these businesses are scrambling to find ways to extract valuable insights from the deluge of data generated from customers through loyalty programs, social media and other channels. They’ll need to work fast or they risk being sidelined by competitors who can gain insights that lead to new revenue streams or new ways to leverage existing channels and boost sales.
High performance computing
While it’s not a major spend in terms of percentages, more and more organisations are looking at high performance computing (HPC). As datasets get bigger and bigger – think hundreds of gigabytes – HPC is no longer solely the realm of universities, research institutes and security services. More and more organisations are investing in technologies that aggregate existing processing power in ways that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Organisations, whether a government agency or a corporation, are dependent on applications to do what they do. As a result, upgrading, replacing, developing or enabling applications to talk to each other will be a major spend for most organisations in 2015.
Mobile apps – whether a loyalty-program app, mobile banking app, exercise app or online shopping app – are also going to consume an ever larger proportion of that budget. Mobile devices change rapidly and apps will need to be redeveloped to suit new OS iterations and form factors.
GPS, RFID and Wi-Fi become cheaper and more commoditised every year, and more and more organisations are investing in the technology as a result. The question now is why wouldn’t you RFID-tag or GPS/Wi-Fi-enable your workplace? This trend is driving further investment into remote access tools and mobile-device management systems to manage these resources.
BYOD is here to stay, and more and more companies will be investing in systems that allow employees to securely access corporate systems via their smartphone and tablet. With tablets such as Lenovo's ThinkPad 10 grabbing the interest of IT managers, this year could be the year that tablets really see traction in the enterprise market.
The Internet of Things
From wearables to smart buildings and smart cars, the proliferation of devices busily exchanging data with each other is going to impact on every single one of the areas mentioned above. While it’s still growing, every analyst survey available mentions the IoT as a new area that companies will be spending money on.
Whichever way you look at it, 2015 is set to be another exciting year for IT.