CIO Letter: Top Ten Tech Predictions for 2012

As we end a transformational year in enterprise tech, you may wonder: What next? I think these 10 trends will reshape business and the CIO role:

10. Data becomes liquid. It will flow like water downhill, in the path of least resistance. Data management must be pervasive and protective.

9. Consumerization of IT explodes. Far beyond device management and bring-your-own-technology, businesses will feel the force of social, mobile, cloud, UI design and gamification. Emerging players such as 'Box.'net, 'Dropbox, Jive and ServiceNow will be surprisingly relevant.

8. UI becomes UE. The comsumerization of IT will also quickly shift attention from the user interface to user engagement. You'll be measured on how well employees and customers engage with your solutions.

7. E-commerce doubles down on social and mobile. Following the arc of user behavior, social and mobile commerce will expand to make up 20 percent to 30 percent of your overall e-commerce transactions.

6. Virtualization goes viral. Server and storage virtualization? Done. Now the focus moves to desktop, data and mobile virtualization-while addressing security needs, of course.

5. Operationalize cloud. Moving from hype to adoption, cloud conversations now center on implementing, managing and securing solutions.

4. Befriend or battle the CFO and CMO. Given economic pressures and the movement toward automated marketing, you'll spend more time with these peers. Do you want to compete for cash or collaborate? Your choice.

3. Internal and external growth intensifies. One focuses on transforming internal business processes while the other looks to IT to improve customer engagement and increase revenue. Do you and your team have the skills to drive both?

2. The global economy looms larger. Whether the malaise lingers or disperses, you'll be forced to rethink and re-examine everything in light of the mega-trends of mobile, social, cloud, big data and consumerization. Freedom and flexibility are the watchwords here.

1. CIO relevance is tested again. CIOs in every industry must master these 10 trends and help your business benefit from them. Move decisively to secure the influence and power you've rightfully gained in the past decade. Jump in and add value.

So tell me, what did I miss?

Michael Friedenberg is the president and CEO of CIO magazine's parent company, IDG Enterprise. Email him at

Read more about data management in CIO's Data Management Drilldown.

This story, "CIO Letter: Top Ten Tech Predictions for 2012" was originally published by CIO.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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