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Mobility, cloud, analytics to reshape IT in 2012

Ann Bednarz | Jan. 4, 2012
Gartner says global IT spending growth will be essentially flat in 2012. IDC is more bullish, estimating 6.9% growth, driven by investments in smartphones, media tablets, mobile networks, social networking, and big data analytics.

Digirad, a maker of cameras used for medical purposes, allows employee-owned iPhones and iPads at work, but limits their application access. "We're only trying to support email," says Jon Martin, vice president of IT at Digirad. "And the users can't contact us for advice. We say, 'check with your provider.'"

A recent survey by the Enterprise Device Alliance found that 66% of organizations allow some employees to bring their own devices, which IT supports at least to some degree. But while employee-owned devices are showing up at work, many IT organizations are under-investing in tools to manage and secure those devices. Just 16% of organizations reported using mobile device management tools -- a percentage that is expected to more than triple to 50% by the end of 2012.

There's a similar tug-of-war going on in the social media realm.

Sales and marketing teams want to engage customers through social networking sites, end users want to access personal accounts from the workplace, and HR wants to be able to recruit, hire and retain social media-savvy employees. But IT doesn't want to expose the company to unnecessary risk.

In a recent a Ponemon Institute survey, 63% of respondents said use of social media puts the organization at risk, and 52% said their organizations suffered increased virus and malware attacks as a result of employees' use of social media. Yet only 29% have security controls in place to mitigate or reduce the risk.

Looking ahead, industry watchers say organizations will adopt enterprise tools that bundle compliance, content management and analytics features so companies can stay on top of content created by employees and measure the effectiveness of their social media activities.

In the big picture, enterprises aren't waiting around for the economy to improve. IT executives are spending in new areas and dramatically rethinking how they acquire technology and deliver services to end users. After a period of unrelenting focus on cost-cutting, these course adjustments are a breath of fresh air.



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