2012 predictions by Rajesh Kaul, India Regional Sales Director at Brocade

2011 was a year of significant IT innovation, with major
advances in both consumer and business sectors. 

Brocade looks into
his crystal ball to outline the top five technology trends we should watch
out for in 2012:

1.      BYOD’ (Bring Your Own
Device) changes IT procurement : the company PC is becoming a thing of the
past,  as businesses increasingly allow, and even encourage, employees to
bring their domestic, consumer devices into the workplace and access corporate
applications.  This will allow application availability at anytime, from
anywhere, and will help business slash procurement costs. The smartphone/tablet
phenomenon will fuel this trend, and will drive uptake of Virtual Desktop
Infrastructure (VDI), wireless networking and end-point security solutions in
the corporate arena.  However, it will create many problems for IT
departments as they attempt to mitigate risk, and signals a tough future for PC
and laptop manufacturers.  Next year, I believe we will see at least one
high profile security disaster as a result of this trend, and that will be act
as a wake-up call for companies to get proper security processes in place
before unlocking their networks to all and sundry.

2.      Campus LAN gets smart :
with ‘BYOD’, the growth of smartphone/tablet usage among consumers and the
Unified Communications market set to triple by 2015, the Campus LAN will have
to step up to the plate to meet demand – 2012 will be the year the campus gets
smart.  Legacy environments will not be able to cope with the huge
pressures being placed on them; high-performance applications (such as video
streaming, IPTV, real-time image transfer and distance learning) will suffer as
a result and productivity/revenue/brand reputation will fall.  I predict
that by the summer of 2012, we’ll see enterprise-class characteristics
introduced into campus LAN solutions at a more affordable price point. This level of innovation will, for the first time, give companies the
simplicity and performance required to meet modern business demands and
transform the way campus-wide networks are engineered.

3.      Rise of Cloud Service
Revenue : 2011 saw organizations slowly moving towards the cloud and this
pragmatic adoption will continue in 2012, but will also see the rise of a new
form of revenue generation as enterprises from outside the technology sector
move towards -Cloud Service Provision’.  In the current economy,
businesses look to sweat every asset at their disposal and more and more will
look to leverage their data centre environments to offer cloud services as an
additional revenue stream. Those companies wishing to address this
burgeoning market will need to have the right data centre architecture in place – a highly virtualised, fabric-based network topology, delivering reliability
and performance to meet strict SLAs – to respond to customer demands, and I
predict that we will see some high profile casualties as a result of providers
trying to make a fast buck.

4.      Greater commoditization
: IT commoditization will continue through 2012.   The maturity of
server virtualisation means that hardware is less important; as real
estate/energy costs spiral and companies look to reduce capital outlay (CapEx),
virtualisation strategies will permeate all companies and the CXO will become
more vocal in whether or not their organization has a plan in place. 
Traditional, enterprise-owned, clients will become obsolete and businesses will
turn to virtualised or even hosted, environments to reduce TCO through procurement
of lower cost hardware.  Companies that get this right will reap the
benefits, but they will need to make sure that the network foundation upon
which all virtual environments operate is fit for purpose; get this wrong and
soldier on regardless and there will be many, many problems.

5.      Data consumption
continues to sky-rocket : 2011 was the year in which Big Data stole headlines,
but this trend will continue unabated through 2012. The last five years
have been awash with new ways to generate, consume and store data. In 2011, the
average smartphone user consumed 15MB of data each day, but this will grow to
1Gb by 2020; as consumers, we will place huge demand on networking and storage
resources because of this.   Businesses will need to look at
innovative solutions to increase network stability and performance while
driving down costs to remain competitive.  Those who ignore this trend
will face major problems, and we may see one or two more examples.

6.      Holistic data centre
fabrics : from the storage environment through to the Ethernet network
 are going to be the big trend in 2012.  All my previous predictions
will rely on this.  Fabric-based architectures will become mainstream,
building on the success of early adopter businesses that have reaped the
benefits of flat, reliable, high performance networks that can offer simplified
management and increased business agility.  This trend will see a
fundamental attitude-shift to data centre design, and will underpin many of the
aforementioned predictions.  After all, the network is the heart and lungs
of modern business and without it simple actions like sending an email or
accessing a document, taken for granted by all of us, would be
impossible.  Fabrics will revolutionize network design and change the networking

By Rajesh Kaul, India Regional Sales
Director at Brocade
[email protected]