"As we enter 2012 I believe there are four market trends which our customers have to consider to ensure they're ready for the rapidly changing working environment -- mobility; social computing; cloud computing; and big data/advanced analytics. All four of these technologies are being harnessed to greatly improve business opportunities.
For example, taking a retailer's perspective, almost all customers now have mobile devices that they take everywhere and use to browse and buy products, as well as keeping an eye out for special offers.
Cloud computing will enable closer connections to these customers, and as a result a retailer will be constantly collecting information about customer behaviour. In order to effectively make use of these high volumes of data (big data) organisations will need storage and business intelligence tools to manage it properly.
It is crucial for IT departments to change their "delivery and operations" mindset to be a sustainable agent for innovation and change, particularly around the way big data about customers is captured and analysed.
Collaboration and adoption of virtualisation technologies will be key this year in allowing organisations to create competitive differentiation and establish more innovative ways of working. Employees of the millennial generation need to have the same experience at work that they enjoy at home. Until now, the technology they experience at home on a Sunday night has often been more advanced than what they use at work on a Monday morning, meaning they have actually had to take a step back when entering the workplace. The combination of millennial workers and new technologies means that the virtualised and globalised enterprise is now a reality. While globalisation is not a new phenomenon, it is now reaching into almost every aspect of business and businesses need to be ready to embrace it."