How clear was our crystal ball?

Every year, in January, there is a flood of articles with predictions for the year ahead. Last year, I thought we should join the deluge and we put together our version of what lay ahead for 2012. I found myself wondering how many of these would be accurate and how many would quietly be deleted come December, so I decided that I would revisit our article and see how we did. I’ve summarised our points below, but you can find the original article here.

Desktop – we predicted the launch of Windows 8 and increasing pressure towards migrating from Windows XP. Surprise surprise, we were spot on here with Windows 8 being released and plenty of work for our consultants on desktop planning – both using management tools such as System Center and considering centralised desktop initiatives such as VDI.

BYOD – we got this one nailed – this area must have occasioned more conversations than any other over the last year! Having said that, the default play here seems to me to be securing the device and delivering email. BYOD promises much more than that if we extend the conversation to data and applications other than email – but I’m confident that will come. We’ve built a fairly complete stack of offerings to assist in this space so if you get stuck, you know who to call…

Communications – yep, I got this one wrong. We’re not all using corporate versions of Skype to communicate ad hoc by video! While telephony clients such as LYNC and Jabber are starting to become more widespread there’s some work to be done here. This is a shame in my opinion as there are some mobility and productivity benefits potentially here – but I think we will get there. Just maybe later than the over-excited geek in me expected…

Datacentre – we were fairly close here too. Demand for virtualisation and storage continued apace, and we did indeed start to see customers moving from heavily virtualised towards private cloud. I’m expecting to see more of this next year. What caught me by surprise was the speed with which our customers are asking us to help them to move some or all of their infrastructure ‘to the cloud’ – which is rather convenient really as we had spent a lot of time, money and effort building our CloudSoftcat infrastructure platform the year before…. Speaking of which:

Cloud – so we did see a few outages for the likes of Amazon, but I’m not sure I can recall a specific security breach that was purely cloud-related. Having said that, our friendly, service-led approach to cloud did seem to prove popular with customers so I’m calling this one a win!

Security – probably another one where we were a touch ambitious. The market for security in virtual environments did improve, and we had some particular success with TippingPoint. I’m not sure my brave prediction that organisations would loosen up on Facebook, however, was as accurate and this probably slowed the development of the Data Leak Prevention market. We’re still convinced that’s coming. 

I make that four out of six – not bad! I’ll publish our predictions for 2013 in the first week of January, so keep an eye out for that…

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