My (very unscientific) predictions for the world of IT in 2013.

Happy New Year everybody!

Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read this blog over the last year and, in particular, to those who added comments.

To start 2013, now is the traditional time to do some crystal ball gazing and come up with some predictions on the things I think we might see in the world of IT over the next 12 months. I need to qualify these by making it clear that they are totally subjective and based purely on my own impressions and opinions, rather than on surveys or other proper research. Nevertheless, here is my take on five trends I think we might see over the next 12 months:

1. Bring your own device to slip down the IT agenda.

2012 has surely been the year of BYOD. It seems to have been on the agenda at almost every IT conference and seminar. My suspicion is, however, that in 2013 realisation will dawn that, while BYOD matters, it only matters to a limited (albeit relatively noisy) section of the workforce and that, for the main part, they can be satisfied by relatively simple solutions, most of which already exist. My gut feeling, therefore, is that in 2013 BYOD will start to be viewed as more of a distraction that a core strategic topic and IT practitioners will move their focus to things that add more real value.

2. Hard times for IT outsource providers as more organisations bring their IT back in house.

There is no doubt in my mind that organisations are finally starting to wise up on how to use outsource service providers. I think this is partly a result of hard won and frequently painful experience and partly because the new generation of business executive management is much more clued up about IT than their predecessors and therefore more likely to see it as a strategic enabler to the organisation than as a support function. This means they are much less likely to push CIOs towards the sort of wholesale outsourcing deals that have been seen in the past.

Going forward, my take is that we will see smaller and more flexible deals with organisations very likely to bring major elements of the IT operations, particularly those supporting core business activities, back in house (or keep them there), meaning challenging times for the providers of such services.

3. Leading organisations start integrating the IT function with internal business process / change teams.

Could 2013 be the year when it becomes generally accepted that:

a) There are no IT projects, just change projects which use IT to a lesser or greater (but mostly greater) extent as the agent through which the change is enabled?

b) Change management is a specialist skill in its own right, not something that line managers can just do in their (usually non-existent) spare time?

If these points do become accepted, does it therefore make sense to combine change management and IT?

My experience is that the penny is starting to drop on these points and that there is a real opportunity for CIOs to expand their traditional roles and move from being the person who runs technology to being the person who moves their organisation into the future. This could be a great opportunity for CIOs bold enough to grasp it.

4. Security remains a top priority for CIOs with the scope of their responsibility expanding from just IT security to overall information security.

The old saying that ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’ should ring true with CIOs. Security threats just seem to continuously evolve and multiply, with maybe tablets and smartphones becoming the next big area to be attacked. At the same time, organisations may start to realise that there are advantages to managing security as an integrated whole rather than addressing the technological aspects and the other aspects separately. Again, this could be area of opportunity for the ambitious CIO.

5. The IT job market to remain generally buoyant, despite the gloomy economic environment.

It’s always nice to finish on a more positive note. My impression is that, generally speaking, the IT job market is holding up well, and, for every organisation cutting back on its technology investment, there are others realising that if they want to have a future in whatever world emerges from the current troubled times, technology is going to a key enabler in achieving that. I therefore feel that the IT job market will remain reasonably buoyant, and that for IT people, particularly those who can combine their knowledge of technology with good business and (dare one say it) people skills, there are very good prospects.

So there you are; my subjective and unscientific views on the future. I guess I can also pretty much guarantee that they won't all be right but I hope that they are at least thought provoking and would love to get some feedback and learn what your predictions are for the next 12 months and beyond.

Have a great 2013.

Comments (2)

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  • 1
    Dave Riches wrote on 4th Jan 2013

    Must say that I agree.

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  • 2
    Osita wrote on 7th Jan 2013

    I agree with the 2nd point, and that would mean that Solution architect roles in provider organisations will be more integrated into the sales team rather than the traditional designer and pre-sales role as IT providers seek to win business in a shrinking market.

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About the author

Adam Davison MBCS CITP has an MSc in IT from the University of Aston and has filled a variety of senior IT strategy roles for organisations such as E.ON and Esso.

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