Celebrate 2013 Technology or Look to 2014?

The year is quickly winding down and 2013 will not be remembered as a stellar year for technology. Between the NSA leaks and Orwellian revelations, the Healthcare.gov mishaps, the cloud email outages (and Yahoo’s is still lingering) and now the 40 million credit identities stolen from Target, 2013 actually was a pretty tough year for the promise of technology to better society.

While the breakneck progress of technology continued, we witnessed so many shortcomings in its implementation. Fundamental gaps in large project delivery and availability design and implementation continue to plague large and widely used systems.   It is as if the primary design lessons of ‘Galloping Gertie’ regarding resonance were never absorbed by bridge builders. The costs of such major flaws in these large systems are certainly similar to that of a failed bridge.  And as it turns out, if there is a security flaw or loophole, either the bad guys or the NSA will exploit it. I particularly like NSA’s use of ‘smiley faces’ on internal presentations when they find a major gap in someone else’s system.

So, given 2013 has shown the world we live in all too clearly, as IT leaders let’s look to 2014 and resolve to do things better. Let’s continue to up the investment in security within our walls and be more demanding of our vendors to improve their security. Better security is the number 2 focus item (behind data analytics) for most firms and the US government. And security spend will increase an out-sized amount even as total spend goes up by 5%. This is good news, but let’s ensure the money is spent well and we make greater progress in 2014. Of course, one key step is to get XP out of your environment by March since it will no longer be patched by Microsoft. For a checklist on security, here is a good start at my best practices security reference page.

As for availability, remember that quality provides the foundation to availability. Whether design, implementation or change, quality must be woven throughout these processes to enable robust availability and meet the demands of today’s 7×24 mobile consumers. Resolve to move your shop from craft to science in 2014, and make a world of a difference for your company’s interface to its customers. Again, if you are wondering how best to start this journey and make real progress, check out this primer on availability.

Now, what should you look for in 2014? As with last January, where I made 6 predictions for 2013, I will make 6 technology predictions for 2014. Here we go!

6. There will be consolidation in the public cloud market as smaller companies fail to gather enough long term revenue to survive and compete in a market with rapidly falling prices. Nirvanx was the first of many.

5. NSA will get real governance, though it will be secret governance. There is too much of a firestorm for this to continue in current form.

4. Dual SIM phones become available in major markets. This is my personal favorite wish list item and it should come true in the Android space by 4Q.

3. Microsoft’s ‘messy’ OS versions will be reduced, but Microsoft will not deliver on the ‘one’ platform. Expect Microsoft to drop RT and continue to incrementally improve Pro and Enterprise to be more like Windows 7. As for Windows Phone OS, it is a question of sustained market share and the jury is out. It should hang on for a few more years though.

2. With a new CEO, a Microsoft breakup or spinoffs are in the cards. The activist shareholders are holding fire while waiting for the new CEO, but will be applying the flame once again. Effects? How about Office on the iPad? Everyone is giving away software and charging for hardware and services, forcing an eventual change in the Microsoft business model.

1. Flash revolution in the enterprise. What looked at the start of 2013 to be 3 or more years out looks now like this year. The emergence of flash storage at prices (with de-duplication) comparable to traditional storage and 90% reductions in environmentals will become a stampede with the next generation of flash costing significantly less than disk storage.

What are your top predictions? Anything to change or add?

I look forward to your feedback and next week I will assess how my predictions from January 2013 did — we will keep score!

Best, and have a great holiday,

Jim Ditmore

About Jim D

Jim has worked in the IT field for over 25 years and as a senior leader for over 15 years. He has successfully turned around a number of IT shops to become high performing teams and a competitive advantage for their companies.
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One Response to Celebrate 2013 Technology or Look to 2014?

  1. Jeffrey R says:

    RE availability and quality – the message “…quality, not risk…” can’t be heard today due to the 2013 events you cite at the start of the article. Which is a shame in my opinion. Risk runs most of our large firms now, not quality.

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