Predicting 2014

I know I am a tad late on my prediction post for 2014, but I have had a hard time coming to terms with what will happen this year. At this point, it is easy to predict where things are going overall, but specific events over the next 12 months? Much more challenging.

I learned this by evaluating my 2013 predictions. The ones that didn’t come to fruition are still trending in the right direction. Those predictions just failed to hit that magic event before the end of 2013.

Well, I am going to try again this year. I am going to lean more towards trends and less on specific events. I could predict Open Text is going to make a large acquisition and that SharePoint will be declared dead by {insert large number here} prognosticators this year, but those things happen EVERY year which makes it feel like cheating.

What can we expect in 2013?

  • At least two of my “failed” 2013 predictions will come true. All those trends are solid and I still have faith in them.
  • Hybrid Cloud will expand. This is a common prediction but I want to throw a flavor out there. I think that many organizations will have whole components of their IT infrastructure in the cloud, typically divided by application. This is more than just email, but several core business functions will be moving to the cloud, leaving others for future moves in the future. The mix will vary from business-to-business and industry-to-industry, but it is going to happen. I don’t expect to see 100% cloud deployments in established organizations for a few more years yet.
  • Encryption will explode. By the end of the year, every market leader in every market that stores business information will have solid stories around their encryption capabilities. It is going to transition from a checkbox “nice-to-have” feature into a highly visible “must-have” feature.
  • Unsharing of data will be common. One thing that all the cloud vendors do really well is allow us to share information with other people. One thing that they don’t do well is help us manage sharing rights for information after it is no longer needed. They all let us do it, but it is our responsibility to remember what we shared and with whom. I expect to see new features that allow us to automatically unshare information and to better track what we have shared.
  • We will move from Supply chains to Information chains. One thing that I have seen evolving is the chain of information. It is collected in one place, stored in another, reported upon, and absorbed by other systems to initiate actions. Information can flow through multiple systems in an organization, when it is allowed to move. I see this becoming a larger focus for organizations as basic data collection and analysis isn’t enough. The information must flow through an organization so that everyone that needs it has access to it when they need it.
  • CIOs adapt or fade away. Every Chief Information Officer will need to adapt to the changing world and become a proactive force for good in their organization. That means understanding how Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC) technologies change existing business functions. It isn’t enough to simply have a “cloud strategy”. CIOs will have to look at the key functions in their business and answer questions like, “How can I provide the Data and Information required to answer the critical questions this year?” Those that don’t join the CIOs already solving those problems will be looking for different career paths.

That is it. I’m not exactly sure how I will be able to grade myself on these next year, but that is a problem for December, not today.

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