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IT in 2012

Predicting the future of IT is a difficult job. Generally, technology changes very quickly, so that the landscape may be entirely different in only 2 or 3 years. But you can examine the trends to see where things are headed over the short term, in the next year.

eWeek looked at the emerging themes in this article: "IT 2012, It's all about control of the data".

Their conclusion: IT trends will focus on how data enters a system, where it resides, how it is processed, and who can access and manage it, as well as who can store and archive data. The critically important technology trends include cloud services and systems; data centers that use less electricity; the larger-than-life workloads and storage capacities we call "big data"; the increasing use of automation in systems of all kinds; the integration of business intelligence into just about everything; and the ever-growing volume of stored data in all its formats.

The most important developments, according to eWeek:

  1. Full automation of major IT systems will continue as a major trend
  2. The availability of more cloud-based software and services than one can imagine
  3. The rapid ascendance of hybrid cloud systems
  4. Exabyte-scale storage systems (thousands of petabytes!)
  5. Data center systems that use less electricity, yet churn out more and larger workloads
  6. Vastly increased usage of data analytics deployments--and not just inside large enterprises
  7. New and improved unified data center controls that include monitoring of data flow and storage, as well as all the physical facilities.

Also worth noting:

  • Doing more with less.
  • Proliferation of personal devices at work (or "BYOD")

Consider the devices entering your IT landscape: smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, connected cars, Web-connected systems, and other technologies. There is certainly no shortage of choices out there. Organizations that do not find ways to adapt to "BYOD" will find themselves falling behind. Moreso for higher ed, where students and faculty often are the users who bring in new gadgets that need to connect to your network.