using_computerDuring this week’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, FL, the research firm’s analysts announced their predictions for business technology in 2013. Most of the predictions centered around which business solutions will be compelling enough to provoke interest in advancing technology during a time of continued economic turbulence, with the underlying statement that CEOs and CIOs must balance the need for innovation with caution in how they approach their organization’s technological future. Daryl Plummer, Gartner’s managing vice president, stated, “The priorities of CEOs must be dealt with by CIOs who exist in a still-turbulent economy and increasingly uncertain technology future. As consumerization takes hold and the Nexus of Forces drives CEOs to certain expectations, CIOs must still provide reliability, serviceability and availability of systems and services. Their priorities must span multiple areas.”

Among Gartner’s predictions for 2013:

  • Big Data will create 4.4 million jobs by 2015, but only a third of those jobs will be filled – Worldwide, companies will need individuals with strong backgrounds in data analytics and management, which can then be translated into extracting and using the data, increasing operational efficiency and competitive advantage.
  • By 2014, the EU will reduce offshoring by 20 percent – Legislation is expected to be used to preserve jobs in the EU, which is suffering from a fairly debilitating unemployment trend. The expectation is that companies will curtail some offshoring and target lower cost areas within Europe for manufacturing and business process outsourcing.
  • By 2015, 40 Percent of Global 1000 organizations will promote business transformation through employee engagement – According to Gartner, 70 percent of attempts at business transformation fail due to lack of employee engagement.
  • By 2014, IT hiring in western countries will come primarily from companies headquartered in Asia – With Asia proving to be extremely resilient during the global downturn and many companies based there enjoying double digit growth, expansion into western markets is expected to continue. Meanwhile, western IT companies are tending more toward using technology and automated business solutions to compensate for reduced hiring.

Cautiously advancing technology, expanding further with Big Data and balancing risk management with innovation appear to be some of the bigger trends in the near future. Automating paper-based processes, whether in terms of spend managemente-procurement, or supply chain management, will continue to be important for reducing costs while advancing a competitive edge.

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