Industry research specialists, Gartner predicted their top ten trends for 2012 at the back end of last year, which saw cloud computing as a whole come in at 9th and “the evolution of virtualization” taking the top spot. It seems that they’re not too far off the mark, if you take a look at how virtual desktops are beginning to take off, especially with smaller businesses. However, according to Gartner, there is a danger during the next few years that users may follow “a specific vendor’s vision”, although they don’t really expand on that.
Due to this though, Gartner recommend that all users should have their own vision of their company architecture and update the plan constantly. Of course, due to the flexible nature of virtual desktops, this isn’t necessarily a big job as the elasticity of the technology allows for it to adapt according to company needs.
Interestingly, at number three in the top trends for this year, Gartner choose “energy efficiency and monitoring”; as we have mentioned in previous blogs, the ‘green’ aspect to technology is something that interests people more and more.
Of course, sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint isn’t just about the IT industry, it really has become one of the world’s most popular subjects. As such, this is something that the IT sector and organisations in general should be giving serious consideration to.
Power consumption tools are emerging that can help a company with this, but choosing a hosted desktop solution for your workforce is something that can make a big impact on how much energy your company consumes, depending on the size and infrastructure. It’s advisable now for companies to monitor their usage and really work this into their business plan.
Smartphones and social media come in at four and six as growing trends to look out for this year but this isn’t really something many of us needed telling. BYOD schemes have added to the smartphone explosion and businesses are beginning to recognise the power of social networking now that it’s had enough time for them to begin to analyse the results it can return.
Social media has made for a new “collective”, Gartner say, which is shaping the way that businesses develop. Of course, anyone who knows anything about social media and its use in business will know that it’s a powerful tool which works both ways, it’s been interesting to watch some of the largest corporations in the world get it wrong and the impact it’s had on them.
As a brief example, a social media campaign carried out by McDonalds went quite seriously wrong when the campaign received a slew of negative tweets during the firm’s Twitter promotion. Consumers hold the power as far as social media goes and as an open platform, businesses have to get hold of the idea that it’s not a simple advertising platform and neither is it one where you can afford to ignore customers.
Whilst some of these predictions now seem obvious, with the wonder of hindsight, it’s worth noting that virtualization tops the list. Whilst cloud take-up and hosted desktops may have been slow to really take off, they certainly are now and an IT revolution is well under way.
The beauty of it is, of course, that it’s not just the big players who can afford to take advantage of cloud technologies, which creates a much more level playing field for SMEs to compete on. Add to that the power of social media, the increasing speeds of internet connections and the world of IT has become a much more exciting place for companies of all sizes.