analyst annual reviews: 2014 and beyond

With the New Year upon us, it’s always revealing to see what the world’s analysts forecast lies in wait in 2014. Mobility is at the top of many of analysts’ agendas with “mobile first” strategies increasingly hitting the enterprise mainstream. We take a look at the predictions of four different analysts.

Gartner: governments turn to cloud

First up Gartner looks at how government agencies’ use of technology will change to both meet austerity targets and service transformation in 2014. “There remains an acute need to reduce the overall cost of providing government services while remaining responsive to citizen expectations,” said Rick Howard, research director at Gartner. To reduce the cost of running their IT infrastructure, Gartner predicts that 25% of government business services will be run in the cloud by 2017. It warns, however, that heightened sensitivity about data leakage and security will act as a limiting factor on uptake.

In recognition of the move to cloud, governments need less internal software development. Around a quarter of software development positions will be eliminated by 2016, with the budget channeled into business intelligence and data analysts. In addition, government agencies will also look to outsource shared-service functions, such as contact centers and administration, to private service providers. As much as 35% of this function could be outsourced by 2017.

Yankee Group: enterprises want mobile analytics

Moving away from the public sector, the Yankee Group focuses on mobility in its predictions. We’ve picked three findings to highlight from its extensive report. With customers turning increasingly to mobile apps, 63% of businesses are prioritizing mobile as an interaction channel. But to measure the success of this channel enterprises need improved mobile analytics tools and will be investing heavily in this in 2014. In total 93% of marketers want hard data to track and measure user experience, customer retention and engagement.

The second finding concerns M2M. Yankee Group says that the market is being driven by small-scale projects, despite the focus on massive government mandated projects, such as eCall. It says that 66% of enterprises deploying M2M have fewer than 499 devices in their project. Just 8% have projects with over 5,000 devices. The third prediction is that the high cost of heads-up displays and smart glasses such as Google Glass means that they are only likely to find application in the enterprise market. This will drive vendor partnerships between augmented reality specialists, software vendors and systems integrators to deliver return on investment (ROI).

Forrester: IT becoming service brokers

Analyst Forrester says that the push for IT departments to become “agile service brokers” is gaining momentum. It says that the future IT department needs to meet business needs by: becoming a technology service broker; streamlining software development to deliver mobile, cloud and big data projects more quickly; having a more holistic approach to IT projects; and offering more business-related KPIs.

It also warns that in the headlong rush to offer mobile services to customers, enterprises need to ensure an overall positive digital experience. It says that “systems of record need to keep up with engagement needs”; in other words,  back-end IT systems need to keep up with how end-users are engaging with the business. The CIO needs to be involved to make this happen.

Ovum: “mobile first” will take hold

Analyst Ovum says that mobility will be top of the CIO agenda in 2014. It predicts that the top three CIO priorities will be “mobile first”, mobile enterprise apps and corporate mobility policies. Ovum says mobile devices are rapidly becoming the primary point of contact between the enterprise and its customers and employees. “Organizations will need to provide a slick user experience (UX) for every aspect of the business, from marketing, advertising, promotion, and sales through to internal processes, and whether the stakeholder is using a smartphone, tablet, or PC,” it says. Enterprises will also increasingly turn to choose-your-own-device (CYOD) and  “corporate-owned, personally enabled” (COPE) strategies to meet employee need for devices at work.

In 2014, enterprises will also incorporate mobile app development in the enterprise IT application stack to help create new ways of working and mobilize business processes. This will create challenges for enterprises IT, particularly around UX and integration with internal systems. Ovum says that enterprise mobility is “moving away from a pure mobility or device problem to an IT corporate management problem, with secure access, content, application, and BI implications.”