• December 14, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Five IT Predictions

New outsourcers, the end of major software overhauls, and the continued rise of the Internet are just a few of the events that will transform the way IT departments operate, according to Gartner. Today, the analyst firm released the latest report in its "Gartner Predicts" series, highlighting predictions, trends, and events that will alter the nature of business and IT in the coming years. The predictions are for technology in general, not specific to CRM, but will nonetheless have influence over a company's CRM initiatives. "These changes will require that IT and business change their approach to delivering and quantifying value," says Daryl Plummer, a managing vice president and Gartner fellow. "IT professionals must examine these predictions for opportunities to increase their support of consumer-driven requirements and their ability to help the business deliver stronger services to those customers." First and foremost, and perhaps counter-intuitively, Gartner says that through 2009 market share for the top-10 IT outsourcers will decline to 40.0 percent (from 43.5 percent now), equaling a revenue shift of $5.4 billion. As market share declines, some key outsourcing vendors will cease to exist in their current form. The reduced number of large contracts, increased amount of competition and reduction in contract sizes have placed great pressure on outsourcers, which will have to "sink or swim," based on support for selective outsourcing and disciplined multisourcing competencies. "Most people think outsourcing is in an uncontrollable climb, but saturation of the marketplace by multiple outsourcing providers and not enough business to support them all is going to change that," Plummer says, He sees many smaller outsourcers receiving increased business as companies become more selective about their outsourcers. Plummer sees the Web having the biggest impact: By 2010, 60 percent of the worldwide cellular population will be "trackable" via an emerging "follow-me Internet." Despite local regulations to protect users' privacy, growing demands for national safety and civil protection are relaxing some of the initial privacy limitations. Marketing incentives will also push users to forgo privacy concerns, and many other scenarios will enable outsiders to track their users, according to the report. To that end, blogging and community contributors will peak in the first half of 2007. Given the trend in the average life span of a blogger and the current growth rate of blogs, there are already more than 200 million ex-bloggers. Consequently, the peak number of bloggers will be around 100 million at some point in the first half of 2007. And on the negative side, by the end of 2007, 75 percent of enterprises will be infected with undetected, financially motivated, targeted malware that evaded their traditional perimeter and host defenses. Plummer says the threat environment is changing--financially motivated, targeted attacks are increasing, and automated malware-generation kits allow simple creation of thousands of variants quickly. Worst yet, security processes and technologies haven't kept up. Last, Plummer sees Vista being the last major release of Microsoft Windows. The next generation of operating environments will be more modular and will be updated incrementally as the era of monolithic deployments of software releases is nearing an end. Microsoft will be a visible player in this movement, and the result will be more-flexible updates to Windows and a new focus on quality overall, according to the report. "There's a lot of work involved with deployments of this magnitude; this applies to all software in general. We've altered the manner in which software is purchased, distributed, and updated." Related articles: IT Prediction 2007: A Rebuilding Year
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