Top 10 IT management trends for the next five years

The continuing race between IT and users is fundamentally changing technology

The top trends affecting technology infrastructure over the next five years can be summed up as largely a list representing where IT and users are battling for control over technology.

The ability for users to be mavericks and bypass IT systems via social networks, application development with mashups, and conduct business on their mobile devices, is rapidly increasing, according to industry research firm Gartner Inc.'s forecast.

However, conversely, IT is poised to strike back, with technologies such as client virtualization. Centrally managed virtualized clients bring a new approach of "let's give them what they actually need, not what they want," said David Cappuccio, chief of research for the Infrastructure teams at Gartner.

"That's a cultural change as much as it is technology," said Ted Meisky, assistant director of IT infrastructure, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, of the push to client virtualization.

It's also in contrast to what Meisky and Cappuccio both agreed was another problem, and that is the rise of dead servers in data centers, a growing problem for virtualized environments where servers can be rapidly created but gradually fall in disuse. "We really don't have a lifecycle view of this," said Meisky.

The second major theme in Gartner's list is energy and, even here, users are more aware today of the problem and raising questions about usage as well.

Client virtualization was first on the list. Gartner's other trends are ranked from those that are well under way to the more emerging ones further down. Here are the others:

  • No. 2: The amount of enterprise data will grow about 650% over the next five years, the vast majority of it unstructured, or not included in any database. This growth "is going to cost us dearly if we dont pay attention," said Cappuccio. Cutting that growth will mean adopting methodologies such as data deduplication and automated tiering of storage, which involves moving underutilized data to less costly storage systems based on risk and need.
  • No. 3: Green IT is about efficiency and that is prompting the business to ask "how IT runs its shop and what they're spending" on energy. In most cases, IT managers aren't able to say because energy cost are paid out of a separate facilities budget, said Cappuccio,
  • No. 4: A closely related trend to Green IT is what's called complex resource tracking, which gives you the tools to monitor energy consumption as well as automate energy usage to optimal levels. "Instead of monitoring systems performance, let's monitor consumption as well," Cappuccio said.
  • No. 5: Companies are beginning to realize that if you don't allow workplace use of Wikis, Twitter, or Facebook, to communicate for business "people are going to use it anyways, they ll find a way around it," said Cappuccio, who recommends establishing rules around it, monitoring, participating, as well as bringing a "social dimension" to external Web sites.
  • No. 6: Companies are trying to unify as much of their communications as possible, tying in Web communications, social networking and other platforms "so we have some control with what's going on," Cappuccio said.
  • No. 7: More and more people are utilizing applications for mobile and wireless applications that are either free or modestly priced. "As people get more and more handhelds, they are saying they want these apps and they want them now," said Cappuccio, and those users aren't interested in seeing what IT can produce in six months.
  • No. 8: The energy cost of supporting a server will exceed the cost of the server in three years. It is helping to usher a "build what you need" approach in the data center. Blades are leading a move to componentized servers: plug-and-play the resources as needed, storage, processors, I/O , etc. "Think about that concept across an entire data center," Cappuccio said.
  • No. 9: Mashups created by users are also something that IT has to manage. "If we aren't careful, these things are going to take off like crazy," Cappuccio warned.
  • No. 10: Cloud computing, particularly a private cloud, separates users from the technology decision because it turns IT into a set of services. "If you do that, it frees up IT to make decisions on what technology to buy, when to buy to buy ... suddenly the constraints all go away," Cappuccio said. The public cloud will grow slower than the private cloud, he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags IT managementGartner

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Patrick Thibodeau

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?