This time of year is not only a great time to reflect but also to look ahead. Today I am posting a contribution from BG Srinivas, who is a director at Indian IT services firm Infosys.
BG has given me his predictions for 2012. If anyone has any predictions for how IT outsourcing will shape up next year please let me know.
Predictions for 2012
By BG Srinivas
"1 - Cloud computing evolution
The cloud has been discussed for several years now - but what will make 2012 different is cloud adoption is beginning to reach a tipping point.
In fact, in 2012 we expect that there will be an increase in the amount of software and applications adopted into the cloud. With larger enterprises continuing to take advantage of the private cloud in particular, the industries which will prioritise this most will include the likes of those working in manufacturing, finance and retail.
However, it's not going to be just businesses making their way to the cloud. Consumers are increasingly consuming cloud based applications, and cloud is entering the mainstream consciousness. Even computer games are being delivered as services via the likes of OnLive, and the launch this year of Apple's iCloud is really driving awareness and acceptance of cloud services. This is helping to driving cloud adoption as it becomes more accepted and mainstream.
Therefore, it is clear the cloud will be moving onwards and upwards in 2012.
2 - IT budgets
Whilst Infosys is aware that in 2011 our customers were more cautious with their spending, in 2012, we expect that IT budgets will continue to be flat at best as business remain cautious about spending. Whilst this is a global issue, with the current macro economic issues in Europe, this issue will only be exacerbated further. Therefore, many companies - including our customers - will be ensuring that they make more strategic and considered decisions before making any IT purchases.
Any spend which will take place next year will focus on the following areas:
-Keeping the lights on whilst managing current tasks and infrastructure which means doing more with less (another reason why prediction 1 will be true!)
-More spend on customer centric application such as multichannel commerce, digital marketing and business intelligence
-Coping with new and enhanced regulation and/or compliance
3 - Increasing personalisation through digitisation
The digital world is continually growing and we don't expect this trend to stop in 2012. With the proliferation of smartphones (adoption rates are expected to reach 50 per cent next year), enhancements being made on an on going basis to social media platforms and organisations needing to stay on track with each of these increases, 2012 will be the year in which as an industry we get to grips with this to ensure that the digital consumer is truly being supported.
As a result of this, companies need to understand that consumers have more information and higher expectations because of their online research or interactions. If organisations don't invest in application in 2012, they risk getting left behind.
4 - Emerging (growth) economies (BRIC content too)
We are already aware that the growth or emerging economies present an on-going opportunity to organisations. In 2012 we expect that this will be the year for these markets on the local level. However, given the current projections of the International Monetary Fund, on the global stage, their growth will be spurted by constraints in export regions such as drop in demand or budget freezes.
In fact, in 2012, we will continue to see the emerging economies growing faster. This will, in turn, provide business opportunities for the West, as long as they invest in local markets and create innovation hubs. One of the main reasons for this is that they don't have the same legacy costs so can adopt technology easier and more quickly.
The demand for world class products in emerging economies is increasing. However, with a wide variance of requirements in existence, it will be important to ensure a certain level of compliance across the multiple local markets.
We will see many of the countries in the emerging economies playing a more significant role in terms of the world's decisions and political forums. However, for global economic success, businesses can't shift all focus to the BRIC countries - for issues such as unemployment, this can only be tackled by increased collaboration and investment from both sides.
There is clearly increasing pressure on managing limited resources, however, a focus on technology could help to reduce the impact of energy. We believe that 2012 will be the year when more organisations will focus more of their efforts on emerging technology to drive both efficiency and resource consumption. For example, smarter technologies such as smart grids will begin to play a bigger part in homes and offices as global and industry deadlines loom.
We also expect a rise in social contracts (much in the way governments have with those they govern, those where enterprises co-exist with society and there is an expectation that sustainable methods come as standard. This won't necessarily be limited to 2012, but will be expected as standard from here on out."